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C L L E C T 1 K S 

or TOE 


'5 5 

O F F I C F n s 











m 1817. 







SIXRETARV Miy.XESOTA li I Ji. .4.1. ^CClcTV. 


Kos. 1102 AND llOi Streft. 



This JourDuI, for tlic first time published, was written by Stephen 
II. Long, how a veteran and honored Colonel of the Corps of Topo- 
graphical Engineers of the United States Army. 

The voyage was performed in a six-oared skiff, presented to ^lajor 
Long by Governor William Clark, the Superintendent of Indian 
Affairs at Saint Louis. Having returned from a tour to the portage 
of the Fox and Wisconsin Eivcrs, he ascended from Prairie du Chien 
to the Falls of Saint Anthony. 

The objects of his voyage were to meander and sketch the course of 
the Upper Mississippi, to exhibit the general topography of the 
shores, and to designate such sites as were suitable for military 

The manuscript was placed in the hands of Keating in 1823, who 
frequently refers to it in his History of the Expedition to the Sources 
of the St. Peter, now Minnesota ru ver. 

Written nearly a half century ago, containing the first account of 
the legends of Maiden Kock and the Falls of Saint Anthony, and de- 
scribing the actual appearance of Indian villages then on the sites of 
numerous busy towns of the present day, it must ever be perused 
with interest, and considered an important contribution to the Histo- 
rical CoiK etions of ^Minnesota. 

The writer cannot omit the expression of indebtedness to the ven- 
erable author, and also to Dr. Edwin James, of Burlington, Iowa, for 
the courtesy manifested in granting the manuscript for publication. 

E. D. N. 

St. 2\ml, Minnesota. 

J U R N A L. 

Wcdnesdai/, July^, — Learning that there v;as little or 
r.o danger to be apprehended from the Indians iivirig on 
tflc Mississippi above Prairie du Chien. I concluded to 
ascend for the purpose of reconnoitering further up the 
river. Layed in provision for sixteen days, and set 
sail at half past eight this morning vrith a favorable 
wind. I took an additional soldier on board at the 
Fort, so that my crew now consisted of seven men. !My 
formei interpreter not being acquainted witli the language 
of the Indians living on this part of the river, I liad occa- 
sion to dismiss him and employ another. The name of my 
present interpreter is Rock or Eoque, whose father was a 
Frenchman and mother a squaw of the Sioux nation. 
But as he was not acquainted with the English language, 
nor I with the French suflicientlv to converse with him, 
I stood in need of some person to interpret his conver- 
sation in English. A gentleman by the name of Itemp- 
steadj a resident of Prairie du Chien, Jiaving some desire 
to ascend the Mississippi, had the politeness to volunteer 
liis services as French interpreler, and ascend the river 
in comi)any with me. The whole number on board of 
my boat was now ten persons. Mr. Hempstead was a, 
native of New London, Coimecticut, but has resided in 
this part of the countr}^ about eight years. 


loxg's skiff voyage to Tin- 

There sailed also in compaTiy Avitli iiSj two yoimg 
gentlemen from New York, l)y the name of King and 
Gun, who are grandsons of Capt. J. Carver, the cclehrated 
traveler. They had taken a hark canoe at Green Bay. 
and were on their way to tlie nortliward, on a visit to 
the Sauteurs^ for the purpose of cslahlishing their claims 
to a tract of land granted hy those Indians to their 
grandfather. They had waited at Prairie du Chier, 
during my trip up tiie Ouisconsin, in order to ascend tte 
Mississippi with me. On 1)oard their hoat were thr^e 
men beside themselves ; so tliat our wliole party consist- 
ed of fifteen persons. Passed Yellow Piiver on our 
left, about two miles from the Fort. It is navigabl-? for 
pirogues, in time of high water, about fifty miles from 
its mouth. About one mile furtlier up is a creek of 
considerable size coming in on the same side, calicd the 
Painted E.ock. One and a half miles higher is a small 
prairie on the cast side, at the upper end of tho Prairie 
du Chien, called Ih'airic des Sioux, at which the Sioux 
Indians are in the habit of stopping to dress and paint 
themselves, when they arc on their way to ^isit the 
garrison below. Passed a prominent part of the bluHs 
on our left, called Cai)e Puant. The circumstance from 
which it derived its name was as follows. The Sioux 
and Puante were about to commence hostilities against 
each other; and a large party of the latter set out on 
an expedition, to invade the ti-rriiury of the Sioux and 
attack them by surprise. Ihit the Sioiix gaining intelli- 
gence of their design asseml>lt'd a superior force, and 
laid in ambush, waiting for the Piiants to land on this 
side. Immediately after their landing the Sioux rushed 



down from the ])luf[':<; jittacked the Piiants in a small 
I'cccs?, Letwceii two jironiontorics, drove them into the 
river, and massacred the ^v]lole pnrty. Just above this 
is Garlic Ca]»o, remarkable from the singularity of its 
appearance. In shape it resemhlcs a cone, cut by a 
]>orjiendicul;ir j)lane passing through its apex and base. 
Its hciglit is about four liundrcd and Miy feet. A little 
<.\i-t of its base is a fme spring. The valley of the river 
ill this piirt is almost entirely occupied by the river, 
wiiich spreads in some places to tlie width of tlu'ee or 
iuur miles, giving place to numerous isla.nds, some of 
Vv'liich are very large. The bluffs are generally betv;een 
four and five hundred feet higl], cut with numerous 
ravines, and exhibiting other signs of being the com- 
mencement of a very hilly and broken inland country. 
The wind failed us about eleven a. m., «nnd we had 
occasion to row tlie rest of the day. Encamped on tlie 
licad of an island about sunset. Distance twenty-eight 
and a half miles. 

Tlairsdiuj^ 10. — Our companions in the birch canoe 
encamped on tlie same island but about four miles below 
us. The Aveather calm this nn}rnin2-. Cot under wav 
al sunrise and came six miles before breakf ist, during 
which we caught five catfish and one drum. A favor- 
able wind then rising, we set sail. Passed a small recess 
i>n our right, Inrnierly occupied 1)}' a party of Winne- 
bagucs as a village. It now contains but two small 
v.igwam-, having l)oen deserted l>y its Ibrmer occupants 
in con-efpuMice oC a disaster that befell one of their party. 
Jn tiuH.* of the lat(^ war, Gov. Clark of St. Loni.^ ascen- 
ded the .Mississii)pl tor the purpose of establishing a 


long's skiff voyage to the 

military post at Prairie du Cliieii. On liis arrival at 
that place he found there eight Indians Avho Avere inhabi- 
tants of this village, and made prisoners of them, as tliey 
had taken part -with onr enemies. Tliey were confined 
in the house 3ioav occupied hy Mr. Hempstead, and a 
guard set to keep them secure. ' Apprehending that they 
should ho treated with severity, tliey were meditating a 
plan whereby to effect their escape ; when one of their 
number hit upon an expedient which they afterwards 
adopted. His plan was for one of the party to break 
through a window and seize the sentinel, when there 
should happen to be but one on post, and hold him fast 
till the rest should make their escape. But aware that 
the one who should execute this part of the i)lot must 
expose himself to almost certain death, he offered to 
sacrifice himself for the safety of the others ; and an 
opportunity presenting he leaped through the window, 
seized the sentinel, whose attempts to stab him with his 
bayonet he effectually frustrated, and held him flist till 
the rest had got out of danger. He then released tlie 
sentinel and attempted to make his escape but was 
immediately -fu'cd upon by the sentinel and received a 
wound in the knee, of which he died a short time after; 
although it did not prevent hun from effecting his escape 
at the time. 

Passed Little loway Ptiver coming in from the west. 
There is a small village of I'uxes about throe miles u]) 
this river, consisting of five or six wigwams. The river 
is navigable in time of high water aliout fifty miles, and 
at all limes a lit.tle above th(^ Indian vill-ige. Its current 
is gCMcrally rapid but not precipitate. Passed several 



Sioux lodges or Avigwanis on our left, at v»'hicli there 
^vas a small war party of ten or twelve Indians. As 
soon ns (lioy saw our (lag they hoi.-ted American colors, 
and we returned tlie compliment hy discliargiiig a 
l)luMdcr1)uss, upon whicli they fired two guns ahead of 
us. Finding we were not dis])osed to call on them, (for we 
had a very line wind), six of the young warriors, very 
fine looking fellows, took a canoe and waited on us. AVe 
slackened sail to enable them to overtake us. When 
(hoy came up their chief warrior gave ine his hand and 
a few common-place remarks passed between us. I gave 
him some tobacco and a pint of whisky, and they left 
us, ap})arently very well satisfied. 

Passed Eaccoon Creek, an inconsiderable stream 
coining in from the eastward. 

Since we left Prairie du Chien, have not been able at 
any place to see both sides of the river at the same time, 
owing to the numerous islands which the river imbosoms. 
The blufis generally make their appearance immedi- 
ately upon the shore of the river, on both sides. They are 
intersected by numerous ravines which divide them into 
knobs and peaks towering four or five hundred feet above 
the level of the river. The rocky stratifications are 
almost exclusively sandstone, of a yellowish appearance, 
inclining to be soft and spongy, rather than brittle and 
crumbling. Numerous blufis of a semi-conical form, 
resembling Cape Garlic before described, only in many 
instaiHM s are much larger, are arranged along the sides 
of the river. Their f ices are per[)endicular cliffs of the 
above mentioned sandstone. Passed the nioulh of Koot 
Uiver on our left. It is navigable in high water about 


long's skiff voyage to tiik 

forty or forty-five miles, and in low al)out twenty. Tliere 
are no Indians ]i^ing upon it at present, but hunting 
parties frequently encamp in tlie ncigliborliood of it. 
Tiie "wind very favorable most of the day. Encamped 
on the west side of the rivei', a little above the Iluot 
Ttiver, at a late hour. Distance fifty miles. 

Fridai/j 11. — In the latter part of the night, a violent 
storm from the north-east, accom[)anied with very heavy 
thunder, commenced and continued till morning. Got 
under way at sunrise, the weatlier calm and cloudy. 
Passed Prairie de la Cross on our right, upon wliich we 
observed a small enclosure which was the burying place 
of the son of an Indian chief. Ui^on his grave a pole 
•\vas erected, to which an American flag was attached. 
The flag was almost worn out, having been suspended 
for a considerable time. At the upper part of the prai- 
rie was a small encam})ment of AVinnebagoes — the most 
civil of any of that nation 1 have met with. They gave 
us a large number of turtles' eggs, of wliich they had 
collected nearly half a Inrshel. and in return I gave them 
some tobacco. This party belongs to a small band of 
"Winnebagoes, living about six miles u{> tlie Prairie de la 
Cross Creek, which comes in from the north-east at the 
head of the Prairie. The band consists of forty or fifty 
men, besides women and children. 

These Indians were peacealde during the late war, and 
have always manifested a friendly dis])osition towards 
the Americans. Collected several s[iecimens of curious, 
tliough not very interesting, minerals ; amongst which 
were iron-ore, red sandstone, some parts uf which were 
of a verniiiiuu hue, and sandstone of a yellowish cast, 



contnining abundance of extremely small sliellS;, and 
other organic remains. Met ihvce canoes of Sioux 
Indiniis. Pas.sed the ]]]aek Hiver on our right, coming 
ill fi'om the X. N. Yj. It is navigahle for pirogues some- 
what more tlian one huiulrtM.l miles, to where the navi- 
gation is oltslructed hy rapids. On this river is an 
abundaijce of ])ine tmiber of an excellent quality. Much 
of the })ine timber used at St. Louis is cut here. I'his 
river lias three mouths, by Avhich it discharges itself into 
the Mississippi, the lowermost of wdiich is most passable, 
and communicates with the Mississippi twelve or four- 
teen iniles below the junction of the valleys of the two 
rivers. The bluffs along the river to-day were unusually 
interesting. They were of an exceedingly wild and 
romantic character, being divided into numerous detached 
fragments, some of them of mountainous size, while otliers 
in slender conical peaks, seemed to tower aloft till their 
elevation rendered them invisible. Here might the poet 
or bard indulge his fancy in the wildest extravagance, 
wliile the philosopher would find a rich repast in examin- 
ing the numerous phenomena here presented to his view, 
a!i»i in tracing the wonderful operations of nature that 
lia ve (aken place since the first formation of the world. 

A lit lie above the mouth of Black Eiver, both shores 
of tlie Mississippi may be seen at the same time, which 
is the only instance of the kind w^e have met Avith on 
our way from. Ih'airie du Chien to this place. One mile 
further ahead tlie Idufls on both sides approach within 
eight hundred yards of each other, and the river in con- 
:-<*<{U(Mice is uai rower here tlian at any other place this 
side of Prairie du Chicn. Notwithstanding this contrac- 


long's skiff vov.age to the 

tion of its channel, tlie river liere imbosoms an island of 
convsidcrablo size. The wincl liard ahead most of the 
day. Encamped a])ont sunset on a small island. Dis- 
tance twenty-six and a half miles. 

Satiirda?/, 12. — Witliin a few yards of the island where 
ViQ encamped is another, considerably smaller, which, for 
the sake of brevity, I called the Bluff Islands, as its for- 
mer name is very long and diflicult to pronounce. It 
has been accounted a great curiosity by travelers. It 
is remarkable for being the third island of the Mississippi, 
from the Gulf of Mexico to this place, that has a rocky 
foundation similar to that of the neighboring bluffs, and 
nearly the same altitude. Pike, in his Jiccount of it, 
states the height of it to ]je about two hundred feet. We 
lay by this morning for the purpose of ascertaining its 
altitude, which we found l)y a trigonometrical calculation, 
which my instruments would not enable me to make 
with much accuracy, to be a little more than jive hun- 
dred feet. It is a very handsome conical hill, but not 
sufficiently large to deserve the appellation of mountain, 
although it is called by the name of the Montaigne qui 
trompe de I'eau, or the mountain that is soaked in the 
water. "When we stopped for breakfast, Mr. Hempstead 
and myself ascended a high peak to take a view^ of the coun- 
try. It is known hy the name of the Kettle Ilill, having 
obtained this appellation from the circumstance of its hav- 
ing numerous piles of stone on its top, most of them 
fragments of the rocky stratifications which constitute 
the princij)al part of the hill, but some of them small 
piles made by the Indians. These at a distance have 
some similitude of kettles arranged along upon the ridge 



and sides of the liill. From this, or almost any other 
eminence in its neighborhood, tJie beauty and granjleur 
of the prospect woidd ])aHlc tlie skill of the most inge- 
nious pencil to de})ict, and that of the most accomplished 
pen to describe. Hills marshaled into a variety of agree- 
able shapes, some of them towering into lofty peaks, 
while others present broad summits embellished with 
contours and slopes in the most pleasing manner ; cham- 
paigns and waving valleys ; forests, lawns, and parks 
alternating with each other; the humble Mississippi 
meandering far below, and occasionally losing itself in 
numberless islands, give variety and beauty to the pic- 
ture, while rugged cliffs and stupendous precipices here 
and there present themselves as if to add boldness and 
majesty to the scene. In the midst of this beautiful 
scenery is situated a village of the Sioux Indians, on an 
extensive lawn called the Aux Aisle Prairie; at which 
we lay by for a short time. On our arrival the Indians 
hoisted two American flags, and we returned the com- 
pliment by discharging our blunderbuss and pistols. They 
then fired several guns ahead of us by way of a salute, 
after which we landed and were received with much 
friendship. The name of their chief is Wauppaushaw, 
or the Leaf, commonly called by a name of the same im- 
port in French, La Feuillc, or La Fye, as it is pronounced 
in English. He is considered one of the most honest 
and honorable of any of the Indians, and endeavoi's to 
inculcate into the minds of his people the sentiments 
and principles adopted by himself. He was not at home 
at the time I calleil. and I had no oi)p()rtunity of seeing 
him. The Indians, as I suppose, with the expectation 


long's skiff vov.\(;k to tiih 

that I had sonicthiiig to coiiimunicato to them, assembled 
themselves at the place where I landed and seated them- 
selves upon the grass. I inquired if their chief was at 
home, and was answered in the negative. I then told 
them I should he very glad to sec him, hut as he was 
absent I would call on him again in a few days when 1 
should return. I further lold tlicm that our father, the 
new President, Avished to obtiiin some more information 
relative to his red children, and that I was on a tour to 
acquire any intelligence ]io might stand in need of. 
With this they ap})cared v» t:]l satisfied, and permitted 
Mr. Hempstead and myself to go through tlieir village. 
While I was in the wigwam, one of the subordinate 
chiefs, whose name was AVazzecoota, or Shooter from 
the Pine Tree, volunteered to accompany me up the 
river. I accepted of his services, and he was ready to 
attend me on the lour in a very sliort time. When we 
hove in sight the Indians were engaged in a ceremony 
called the Bear Dunce ; a ceremony which they are in 
the habit of performing when any young man is desirous 
of bringing himself into juirlieular notice, and is con- 
sidered a kind of initiation int<» ilio state of manhood. I 
went on to the ground wliere tliry liad their performances, 
wdiich were ended sooner than usual on account of our 
arrival. There was a kind Hag made of fiiwn skin 
dressed with the liair on, >n-iHMided on a pole. Upon 
the flesh side of it were (h'awn cerlain rude figures indi- 
cative of the dream whieli il i> n<'ce>sary tlie young man 
shoidd have dreame(K I'oinre lie can l>e considered a 
i«iupor candidate fur this kin-l "I' initiation; with this a 
pipe was suspeniled by way of sacrifice. Two arrows 



were stuck up at the foot of the ])ole, and fragments of 
painted feathers, etc., v/ere strewed about the ground 
near to it. These pertained to the reUgious rites attend- 
ing the ceremony, -which consist in bewailing and self- 
mortification, that the Good Spirit may be induced to 
]»ity them, and succour their undertaking. 

At the distance of two or three hundred yards from 
the flag, is an excavation which they call the bear's hole, 
prepared for the occasion. It is about two feet deep, 
and has two ditches, about one foot deep, leading across 
it at right angles. The young hero of the farce places 
himself in this hole, to be hunted by the rest of the 
young men, all of whom on this occasion are dressed in 
their best attire and painted in their neatest style. The 
hunters approach the hole in the direction of one of the 
ditches, and discharge their guns, which were previously 
loaded for the purpose with blank cartridges, at the one 
who acts the part of the bear ; whereupon he leaps from 
his den, having a hoop in each hand, and a wooden lance, 
the hoops serving as forefeet to aid him in characterizing 
his part, and his lance to defend him from his assailants. 
Thus accoutercd he dances round the place, exhibiting 
various feats of activity, while the other Indians pursue 
him and endeavoi- to trap him as he attempts to return 
to his den, to ellect which he is privileged to use any 
violence he pleases with impunity against his assailants, 
and even to taking the life of any of them. 

This part of the ceremony is performed three times, 
that the bear may escape fi"om his don and return to it 
again through throe of the avenues connnuiiicatliig with 
it. On being hunted from the fourth or last avenue, the 



bear must make liis escape ihroiigli all liis pursuers if 
possible, and flee to the Avoods, ^vhere he is to remain 
through the day. This, lioweverj is seldom or never 
accomplished, as all the young men exert themselves to 
the utmost in order to trap him. When caught he must 
retire to a lodge erected foi* his reception in the field, 
where he is to be secluded from all society through the 
day, except one of his i)articular friends -whom he is 
allowed to take Vv'ith him as an attendant. Here he 
smokes and performs various other rites which supersti- 
tion has led the Indians to ])elieve are sacred. After 
this ceremony is ended the young Indian is considered 
qualified to act any part as an eHicient member of their 
community. The Indian who has had the good fortune 
to catch the bear and overcome him when endeavoring 
to make his escape to the woods, is considered a candi- 
date for preferment, and is on the first suitable occasion 
appointed the leader of a small war party in order that 
he may further have an opportunity to test his prowess 
and perforin more essential service in behalf of his nation. 
It is accordingly expected that he will kill some of their 
enemies and return wiili their scal[)s. I regretted very 
much that I had missed the opportunity of witnessing 
this ceremony, which is never jierformed except when 
prompteil by the particular dreams of one or other of the 
young men, who is never complimented twice in the 
same manner on account of his <lreams. 

Passed several places where tho i>rospect was very 
agreeable. The winds strong ahead all day. Encamped 
on a sand-);ar. Distance twenty^one miles. 

SundLU/^ lo — Caught several fish last night. The 



atmosphere loaded with vapor this morning; the mercury 
at 51.^. Stnrfcd at sunrise but had to lay by on account 
of tlic fog. A favorable breeze sprung up from the S. E. 
about eight and we hoisted sail. Saw a numerous flock 
of pelicans. They flew up from a sand-bar a little before 
us, and continued sailing about us for some time, which 
is usual witii them, till they arose to a very great height 
v.Ikui they disappeared. Passed Embarrass Hiver on 
our left coming in from the west. Just above its conflu- 
ence with the Mississippi it unites its waters with Clear 
Watc-r Creek. The former is navigable in high water 
thirty or forty miles, the latter about fifteen miles. The 
Indians frequently hunt in the neighborhood of these 
rivers, but have no permanent establishment npon them. 
A little above this our Indian companion informed us 
that he was fired upon seven times by a party of Chip, 
peways but received no injury. He was alone and 
unarmed at the time, but the Chippeways fled imme- 
diately after firing upon him. Passed the cabin also 
where my interpreter spent the last winter in trading 
with the Indians — at present unoccupied. Met the 
nephew of La Feuille, and another Indian, who were on 
a Iiunting expedition. My interpreter informed the 
nephew who is to succeed his uncle in the office of chief, 
that a party of the Sioux Indians of his village had 
followed us, to beg whisky, after we had given them 
all we thoughl it prudent to part with. He appeared 
much ollended that they should have done so, and eagerly 
in«juired if his uncle was not at home to restrain them. 
V\o gave them some tobacco and whisky and MX them. 
^Vere much amused by the singing of our chief, who felt 


long's skiff voyag'k to tuc 

a disposition to be merry aft or taking wliisky. lie 
appears to be a man of veracity, firmness, and bravery. 
He occasionally stands up in the boat and harangnes 
with a loud voice, ])roclaiming ^vho he is, Avhere he is 
going, and the company he is Passed the Ptiver 

au Boeuf coming in from the nnrtli. It is of moderate 
size and is navigable in liigli water about thirty miles. 
BufHiloes are found on tliis river which gives occasion to 
its name ; the Indians hunt them here in all seasons ; 
they are not however very numerous. Opposite to the 
mouth of this river, on tlie side of the Mississippi, 
is a large prairie, situated between the bluff's and the 
river, being about two miles in width; on -a part o^ it is 
a scattering growtli of tindjcr. Should there be occasion 
to send troops into this quarter, they might be posted to 
advantage at this place, as tlic ])Osition would be secure, 
and at the same time, afford a tolerable command of the 
river. The elevation of the })rairie above the river is 
about twenty-five feet. Upon the upper end of the prai- 
rie is the Grand Encampment, or place of general resort 
for the Indian traders, daring the winter, for the purpose 
of trafficking with the Ind'ans. 

Arrived at the foot of Lake Pepin about dark. The 
wind favorable, but very gentle, through the day. Dis- 
tance thirty-five miles. 

Monday^ 14. — The Avind blew violently from the S. E. 
through the night, but as it was too dark to take our 
courses, we could not avail oursch'cs of the advantage it 
otherwise would have been to us. Set sail at an early 
hour, but the wind soon shifted into the N. W., and was 
so strong ahead that we could make but very little 



proiiress cither by I'owiiig or cordelling. Were in conse- 
c|nence delayed about one and a half hours, during 
vlilrli Mr. n. and myself ascended the bluff in order to 
enjoy a ])ros})ect of the neighboring country. The place 
wlicre vre were ^Yas at the lower extremity of Lake 
Pe|ii]\. From tlie height we had a view, not only of the 
lake niul tlie majestic bluffs that bound it, but also of the 
surrounding country to a considerable extent. The 
ronlrast between this and the view we had two days 
b*'rnrc is ver}^ striking. The bluffs are more regular and 
more uniform in their height. The back country is 
rolling rather than hilly, and has comparatively but 
little timber upon it, particularly on the west of the 
river. The valie}^ between the bluffs which was before 
thronged with islands, sand-bars, pools and marshes, is 
]wo. occupied by a beautiful expanse of water with 
nothing to obstruct the view upon its surflice, but the 
.'shores of the lake. At the lower end of Lake Pepin 
which has its general course about E. S. E. is Chippe- 
v;ay lliver coming in from the north. It is about five 
hundred yards wide at its mouth, and is navigable for 
jtirogues about fifty miles at all times and in high water 
inuch farther. From its appearance, however, I should 
jndg»» that its navigation must be much obstructed by 
.-:irid-h:'.rs. After breakfast we passed up the lake about 
tv.o miles, and stopped [on] the east shore for the 
[•nrp'^-r of ascertaining the width of the lake and the 
bright of tl>e bluOs where the high lands commence. 
^^o foimd tlie lake a few yards short of two miles wide, 
and the r!<'vation of the hills four hundred nnd seventy- 
iivc above the surface of the lake. About midway oi 


long's skiff voyage to the 

the lake passed tlic Lover's Leap, a prominent part of 
the blulYs, witli a perpendicular precipice of about one 
hundred and fifty feet, and an abrupt descent of nearly 
tlirce hundred feet from its l)asc to the waters edge. 
At this place an unfortunate squaw met with an untimely 
fate, as the consequence of licr parents' obstinacy and 
persecution. The circumstances that led to this result 
were related b}' our Indian chief and were the foUoAving. 
Since his remembrance, a large party of the Sioux 
Indians of La Feuille's band were lioinc: on a visit from 
the river St. Peters to Prairie du Cliien. When they 
arrived at the hill now called the Lover s Leap, they 
stopped to gatlicr blue clay, which is found near the foot 
of the hill, for the purpose of painting themselves. Of 
this party was the young squaw who is the subject of 
the story. She had for a long time received the 
addresses of a young hunter, who had formed an un- 
conquerable attaclunent to her, and for whom she 
enter t.iined the strongest allection. Her parents and 
brothers were strenuously opposed to her choice, and 
warmly seconded the solicitations of a young warrior who 
was very much beloved by tlie nation for his bravery and 
other good qualities. To obviate her objections to the 
warrior as beimi; destitute of the means of clothimi: and 
feeding her in consequence of the life he must lead in 
order to perform the duties of his profession, her brothers 
v>'ere at ^'he expense of procuring every tiling that Avas 
necessars' to the ease ami comfort of a family, and 
presented them to the young warrior. This they did 
on the day of their arrival at the fatal s})ot, with the 
hope that their sister would readily ])e prevailed upon to 



luany iho young man Avheu all her objections to him 
woro thus ohviatcil. She still pcrsi:stecl, however, in the 
(](»(ornHnalion never to marry any but the object of her 
sincere allection, the young hunter; while her parents 
and brothers finding t]iey could not accomplish their 
purpose by gentle UiCans, began to treat her with 
severity. They insisted on her compliance witli their 
wishes, still summoning the arguments of fdial duty and 
alloction in aid of their cause. She replied, ^* She did 
not love the soldier and would live single forever rather 
than marry him. You call me daughter and sister, as if 
this should induce me to marry the man of your choice 
and not of my own. You say you love me, yet you 
have driven the only man that can make me happy far 
from me. He loved me ; but you would not let us be 
hap})y together. He has therefore left me, — he has lel't 
his parents and all his friends, and gone to bewail in tlie 
woods, lie cannot partake of the pleasure of this party. 
He can do nothing but mourn. You are not satisfied with 
all tins. You have not made me miserable enough. 
You would now compel me to marry a man I do not 
love. Since this is your purpose, let it be so. You will 
soon have no daughter or sister to torment, or beguile 
with your false professions of love." The same day vras 
tixcd u}K»n as the day of her marriage with the warrior, 
and the Indians were busily occu])ied in gathering cloy 
and j-ainting themselves, preparatory for the nu])iial 
ceremony. She, in the meantime, walked aside from 
the rest of the party, ascended to the top of tlie hill, 
and called aluud to her parents and brollun-s, upbraiding 
Ihoni for their unkind ti'eatmcnt. You first refused to 


long's skiff vovagk to Tin: 

let me many agreeably to my own cliuice. You tlicn 
endeavored hy artifice to unite me to a man I cannot 
love, and now you will Ibrce me to marry liini whether 
I will or not. You thought to allure and make me 
wretched, l)ut you sliall be disappointed." Her parents, 
aware of her design, ran to the foot of the hill, and 
entreated her to desist, willi all the tenderness and 
concern that parental fondness could suggest, rending 
theh^ hair and bewailing in the bitterest manner; while 
her brothers attempted to gain tlie summit before she 
should execute her fatal }>urpose. But all in vain ; she 
"was determined and resolute. She commenced singing 
her death song and immediately threw herself headlong 
down the precipice, preferring certain and instantaneous 
death, to a lingering state of unhappy wedlock. 

Passed a large encamjiment of Sioux Indians, two 
miles further \\\) the lake, at which we left our chief 
As we hove in sight they hoisted the American flag, 
which we saluted with a discharge of our blunderbuss. 
Our salute was returned by the discharge of several guns 
fired ahead of us. AVhen we landed a crowd of Indian ns 
came about us, and were very anxious that we should 
stop a wdiile with them. Ihit the wind being strong and 
favorable we coneluded it best to make as little delay as 
possible. AVe accnrdingly gave them some tobacco and 
proceeded on. l^ake ]\'i)in is about twenty-one miles 
long ami of \ ariable width from one and a half to thi'ce 
miles. Through the greater part nf its length it occupies 
the whole width of the valley situated between the river 
blulfs. There are however two prairies of considerable 
size within the valley, that appear possessed of an excel- 



l^'ut i^oW, and aie advantageously situated in regard to 
{]wiv elevation above the Avater. There are a few unini- 
jMU'lani brooks emptying into the lake. About four miles 
above the lake is a river coming in from tlie west called 
Cannon river. Its navigation, etc. is similar to that of 
Koot. J liver before mentioned. It has a small band of 
Sioux Indians residing near its head. Passed an island 
a little above where two French traders were killed by 
an Indian a few years since. Encamped on a sand-bar 
at sunset. Wind favorable apart of the day. Distance 
tin*r(}'-[ivc and a half miles. 

Tticsda?/, 15. — Soon after we encamped last evening 
we received a visit from four Indians, two men and two 
boys; which gave me more satisfaction than any visit I 
had received from the Indians. They appeared very 
good humored and friendly. They asked for nothing. I 
gave them some tobacco and whisky for which they 
repeatedly thanked me. Gratitude is the noblest return 
that can be made for a kindness. 

Set sail a half an hour before sunrise, with a favorable 
wind. Breakfistcd a little below the place called the 
Crevasse, which is merely a fissure between two large 
rocks, adbrding a passage to a small stream of Avater. 
Ascemling the bluff which is here no more than about 
one hundred and seventy five feet high, which is the 
I MiiiuH.n lr\ (•] of the country in this vicinit}'. Upon the 
^l"p<' of the blull's observed a variety of pebbles and 
>t(»nes, amongst whicli were the agate of various hues, 
cah etlony, ilint, serpentine, ruby and rock crystal, etc. 
Pike in his journal describes the Mississij)pi for a con- 
Mderable distance below the river St. Croix, as of a 


long's skiff VOVAflK TO Tiii: 

reddish ni)pcarnncc in slioiil water, but, hlack as ink in 
deep. The reddisli appearance is occasioned by the 
sand at the bottom, Avliicli is of tliat complexion ; the 
dark is no more tlian what is common to deep water 
moderately limpid. ^Nlet eight canoes of Indians headed 
by a tradei" whose name was the Elk's Head. They were 
merely on a hunting expedition, I gave the chief some 
tobacco. Passed the St. Croix lliver on our rigbt. Its 
mouth is about one hundred yards wide, but immediately 
above it expands into a lake from three-quarters to two 
miles wide, and about thirtv miles long. Throucrhout 
its Avhole extent it is deep and naviga])le for craft of very 
considerable burden. Its general course, from its head 
to its confluence with the ^Mississippi, is about S. E. 
About twenty miles above the lake in the river St. Croix 
are rapids by which the navigation of the river is en- 
tirely obstructed. Above tlic rapids the river is navi- 
gable for a considerable distance, in a direction towards 
Lake Superior. The water communication between Lake 
Superior and the Mississippi, is obstructed by a portage 
of moderate extent only, and is the channel of consider- 
able intercourse ])et ween tbe British traders and the 
Indians. Tbe Indians have no permanent villages either 
on the Lake, or the lliver St. Croix. They resori here 
annually, however, in large hunting parties, for wild game 
of almost all kinds, wliicli is luund liere in great abun- 
dance. Gen. Tike on bis expedition negotiated witli tbe 
Indians for a tract of land comju'ebending the confluence 
of the St. Croix and ^lississippi, and ()l)tained a grant 
of nine mihvs square. About four miles a1)ove the mouth 
ol' tlie St. Croix, as it is said, is the narrowest part of 



iho Mi<<i.-sip}>i below the Falls of St. Anthony. At 
this ]»l;ice wo crossed the vivor from a dead start, ^vith 
hixtt on strokes of our oars. The river is here probably 
)>etwocn one Inindred and one hundred and twenty yards 
\vid<\ ))u( as we had a favorable Avind up the river 
did not stu}» to measure it. Upon supposition tliat the 
i'ountry, on ascending the Mississippi, would lose its 
alluvial and secondary character, after passing the Des 
.Moin ]vapids, and exhibit nothing but traits of primitive 
formations, not only in its precipices but even upon its 
surface, I had expected to find on this part of the river, 
not merely bluffs and knolls five or six hundred feet high, 
but, also, mountains of A^ast height and magnitude. On 
the conti-ary I now discover that we have long since 
j^asscd the highest lands of the Mississippi and that we 
are now moving through a rolhng prairie country, whore 
the eye is greeted with the view of extensive undulating 
jdains, instead of being astonished by the wild gigantic 
scenery of a world of mountains. 

The highlands on this part of the river are elevated 
from one to two hundred feet above the water level. 
Th«' Idulfs are more regular, both in their height and 
ciirccliun, than they are below Lake Pepin, and the val- 
loy of the river more uniform in its width. The strati- 
fic^itions of the bluffs are almost entirelv sandstone, 
t«»nt:jiiiing clay and lime in greater or less proportions. 
'J he jicbblcs are a mixture of primitive and secondary 
.slones (if various kinds. ]>lue clay or chalk is frequently 
to bo fnmul. 

Pa^>ed thf Detour de Pin or Pine Turn of the Missis- 
^ipjii, which is the most westwardly bend of the river, 

30 I'OKG's SKll-f VOYAGE TO THi; 

between St. Louis and tbe Falls of St. Anthony. The 
cli..tance from this bend across to the llivcr St. Peter s ,s 
about nine miles, ^vhereas it requires two days to go l)y 
water to the same place on the St. Peter's. 

The ?*Iississippi above the St. Croix emphatically do- 
serves the name it has acquired, which originally implies, 
Clear River. The water is entirely colorless and tree 
from everything that would render it impure, either to 
the si-ht or taste. It has a greenish appearance, occa- 
sioned by reQections from the bottom, but when taken 
into a vessel is perfectly clear. ,,,,,,, 
The wind was favorable through most of the day, but 
the river in this part is very crooked, so that we could 
not sail with so much expedition as otherwise we might 
have done. Encamped at sunset on the east side of the 
river upon a handsome prairie. Distance forty-one miles. 

Wednesday/, IG.-Set sail at half past four this niorn- 
iucr with a favorable brce/.e. Passed an Indian burying 
.round on our left, the first thai I have seen surrounded 
with a fence. In the centre a i>ole is erected, at the 
foot of which religious rites .arc performed at the_ burial 
of an Indian, by the particular friends and relatives of 
the deceased, rpou the pole a Hag is suspended when 
-inv person of extraordinary merit, or one who is very 
'Jl beloved, is buried. In the enclosure were two 
scaffolds erected also, about s>x Icet Ingh and six feet 

TTnnn one of them were two coffins containing 
souarc. upou 

^ , , p.w<ed a Sioux viilaire on our right con- 

.t."hJ.'.-a'.i-- Th. name' of the chief is the 
IVtit Corbeau, or l/u>l- J-v"- ' ''^ l>Kl'.i'>-^;vere all 
nbsent on a hunting pa. ly "P <l.e Kiver St. Croix, which 



is l»ut a little distance across tlie country from the vil- 
lap.e. or this we were very glad, as this band are said 
to be the most notorious beggars of all the Sioux on t!ie 
Mississippi. One of their cabins is furnished Avitli loop 
lioleSj and is situated so near the ^vater that the opposite 
si<lc of the I'iver is witliin musket-shot range from the 
building. By this means the Petit Corbeau is enabled 
lo exercise a conmiand over the passage of the river, 
and has in some instances compelled traders to land 
^vi^h their goods, and induced them, probably through 
fear of olFending him, to bestow presents to a consider- 
able amount, before he would suffer them to pass. Tlie 
cabins are a kind of stockade buildings, and of a better 
ai)pca ranee than any Indian dwellings I have before met 

Two miles above the village, on the same side of the 
river, is Carver's Cave, at which we stopped to break- 
fast. However interesting it may have been, it does 
not possess that character in a very high degree at 
present. We descended it with lighted candles to its 
lower extremity. The entrance is very low and about 
eiglit feet broad, so that a man in order to enter it must 
1m> completely prostrate. The angle of descent witliin 
lln» cave is about 25°. The flooring is an inclined plane 
of fjuicksand, formed of the rock in which the cavern 
i< lormed. The distance from its entrance to its inner 
extremity is twenty-four paces, and the width in the 
broadf^st part about nine, and its greatest height about 
seven feet. In shape it resend)les a baker's oven. The 
ravern was once probably much more extensive, ^fy 
interpreter informed me that, since his remembrance, 

I/)Xg\s skiff VOVAGl:: TO TIIK 

the entrance was not less tlian ten feet higli and its 
length far greater than at })resent. TJie roc-k in Avliicli 
it is formed is a very white .sandstone, so friahle tliat 
the fragments of it will almost crnmble to sand when 
taken into the hand. A few yards below the month of 
the cavern is a very copious spring of fine water issuing 
from the bottom of the clilV. 

Five miles above this is the Fountain Cave, on the 
same side of tlie river, formed in the same kind of sand- 
stone but of a more pure and fine quality. It is fai* 
more curious and interesting than the former. The en- 
trance of the cave is a large winding hall about one hun- 
dred and fifty feet in length, fifleen feet in width, and 
from eight to sixteen feet in height, finely arched over- 
head, and nearly perpendicular. Xext succeeds a nar- 
row passage and diificult of entrance, which opens into a 
most beautiful circular room, finely arched above, and 
about forty feet in dianietei'. The cavern then con- 
tinues a meandering course, expanding occasionally into 
small rooms of a circular Ibrm. We penetrated about 
one hundred and fitU' yards, (ill our candles began to 
fail us, when we returned. To beautify and endjcUisli 
the scene, a fine crystal stream Hows through the cavern, 
and cheers the lonesome daik retreat with its enlivening 
murmurs. The temi>erature of ihe water in the cave 
was 40°, and that of the air Entering this cold 

retreat from an aimosidiere of S'J°, I thought it not pru- 
dent to remain in it long encnigh to take its several 
dimensions and mean<b'r its courses; particularly as we 
had to wade in water to our knees in many pLices in 
order to penetrate as far as we went. The fountain 



supplies an aljiindancc of water as fine as I ever drank. 
This cavern, as I \vas informed by my interpreter, has 
])oen discovered but a few years. That the Indians 
formerly living in its neighborhood knew nothing of it 
till within six years past. That it is not the same as 
Ih'at described by Carver is evident, not only from this 
circumstance, but also from the circumstance that instead 
of a stagnant pool, and only one accessible room of a 
very ditlerent form, this cavern has a brook running 
through it, and at least four rooms in succession, one 
after the other. Carver's Cave is ftist filling up with 
sand, so that no water is now to be found in it, whereas 
this, from the very nature of the place, must be enlarging, 
as the fountain will carry along with its current all the sand 
that falls into it from the roofs and sides of the cavern. 

A little above wo stopped to take a meridian altitude 
of the sun's lower limb, which we found to be 6G° 42'. 

Five miles above, the river St. Peter's comes in from 
the southwest. We arrived at the mouth of this river 
at 2 r. M., and layed by to dine. The St. Peter's is 
iibout two hundred yards wide at its mouth, and is navi- 
gable for Mackinaw boats between two and three hun- 
<lred miles in all stages of the water; and in high water 
nuich further. For about forty miles it has still and 
<leep water; firther up there are occasional rapids, by 
which there are portages of moderate extent. There 
.'ire three considerable Indian villages up this rivei", the 
first of which is about nine miles above its moulh. They 
are all dillerent bands of the Sioux nation. The country 
at the junction of the rivers I shall have occasion to de- 
sci ibe on my return. 


The rapids below the Falls of St. Anthony commence 
about two miles above the confluence of the Mississippi 
and St. Peter and are so strong thai we could hai'dly 
ascend them by rowing, poleing, and sailing, witli a 
strong wind, all at the same time. About foui- miles up 
the rapids we could make no headway by all these means, 
and were obliged to substitute the cordcl in place of the 
poles and oars. 

Arrived at the Falls of St. Anthou}^ at a quarter past 
seven. Winds favorable a part of the day. Encamped 
ou the cast shore just below the cataract. Distance 
twenty-seven and a half miles. 

T/mrsda?/, 17. — The place where we encamped last 
night needed no embellishments to render it romantic in 
the highest degree. The banks on both sides of the 
river are about one hundred Icet high, decorated with 
trees and shrubbery of various kinds. The post oak, 
hickory, walnut, linden, sugar tree, white birch, and the 
American box; also various evergreens, such as tire 
pine, cedar, juniper, etc., added their embellishments to 
the scene. Amongst the shrubbery were the prickly 
ash, plum, and clicrry tree, the gooseberry, the black 
and red raspberry, the chokel)erry, grape vine, etc. There 
Avere also various kinds of herljage and flowers, among 
which were the wikl parsley, rue, spikenard, etc., red 
and white roses, morning glory, and various other hand- 
some flowers. A few yards below us was a beautiful 
cascade of fuie sprip.g water, pouring down from a project- 
ing precipice about one luuidred fec^t high. On our left 
was the Mississippi hurrying tlirough its channel wiih 
great velocity, and about tlnx-e quarters of a mile above 




uf>, in plain view, was the majestic cataract of the Falls 
of St. Anthony. The ninrmnring of the cascade, the 
roaring; of the river, and the thnnder of the cataract, all 
contributed to render the scene the most interesting and 
ma;2nilicent of any I ever hefore witnessed. 

The perpendicnlar lall of the water at the cataract, as 
stated by Pike in his journal, is sixteen and a half feet, 
which I found to be true by actual measurement. To 
this height, however, four or five feet may be added for 
the rapid descent which immediately succeeds the per- 
pendicular fall within a few yards below. Immediatel}^ 
at the cataract the river is divided into two parts by an 
island which extends considerably above and below the 
cataract, and is about five hundred yards long. The 
channel on the right side of the Island is about three 
limes the width of that on the left. The quantity of 
water passing through them is not, howe^xr, in the same 
l)roportion, as about one-third part of the whole passes 
through the left channel. In the broadest channel, just 
below the cataract, is a small island also, about fifty 
yards in length and thirty in breadth. Both of these 
isl;\nds contain the same kind of rocky formation as Ihe 
banks of llie river, and are nearly as high. Besides 
these, tliere are inunediately at the foot of the cata- 
ract, two islands of very inconsiderable size, situated 
in the right channel also. The rapids commence several 
liundred yards above the cataract and continue about 
ciglit miles below. The fill of the water, beginning at 
the hratl of the I'apids, and extending two hundred i\ud 
sixty rods down the viwv to where the portage road 
commences, ])elow tlie cataract is, according to Pike, 



fifty-eight feet. If this estimate l)e correct the Avholo 
fill! from tlie liead to the foot of the rapids, is not pro- 
bably much less than one Iiiuulred feet. But as I had 
no instrument sufficiently accurate to level, ^vhcre tlie 
view must necessarily be pretty extensive, I took no 
pains to ascertain the extent of the fall. The mode I 
adopted to ascertain the height of the cataract, was to 
suspend a line and jilummet from the table rock on the 
south side of the river, wliich at tlie same time had very 
little water passing over it as the river was unusually 
low. The rocky formations at this place were arranged 
in the following order, from the surface downward. A 
coarse kind of limestone in thin strata containing con- 
siderable silex ; a kind of soft friable stone of a greenish 
color and slaty fracture, probaldy containing lime, alumi- 
num and silex; a very beautiful stratification of shell lime- 
stone, m thin plates, extremely regular in its formation 
and containing a vast number of shells, all a2)parently of 
the same kind. This formation constitutes the Table 
Rock of the cataract. Tlie next in order is a white or 
yellowish sandstone, so easily crumbled that it deserves 
the name of a sandbank raihcr tban that of a rock. It 
is of various depths, irom ten lo fifty or seventy-five feet, 
and is of the same character with that found at the 
caves before described. Tlie next in order is a soft 
friable sandstone, of a greenish color, similar to that 
resting u})on the sbeli limestone. These stratifications 
occupied the whole space frum the low water mark nearly 
to the top of the Iduils. On the east, or rather north 
side of the river, at the F:ill.>--. :ire higli grounds, at the 
distance of half a mile from the river, considerably more 
elevated than the bluils, and of a hilly aspect. 



This rcmavka1)le })avL of the Mississippi, is not "without 
a talc to hallow tlie scenery and add some Aveight to the 
interest it is naturally calculated to excite. Our Indian 
coni})anion, the Sliooter from the Pine Tree, related a 
story while he was with us, the catastrophe of which his 
mother witnessed with lier own eyes. 

A young Indian of the Sioux nation had espoused a 
wife with wdioni he had lived happily for a few years, 
enjoying every comfort of which a savage life is suscepti- 
jjle. To crown the felicity of the happy couple, they 
had heen blessed with two lovely children, on whom they 
doated with the utmost affection. During this time the 
young man by dint of activity and perseverance, signal- 
ized himself in an eminent degree as a lumter, having 
met with unrivalled success in the chase. Tliis circum- 
stance contributed to raise him high in the estiTuation of 
liis fellow savages, and draw a croAvd of admirers about 
him, which operated as a spur to his ambition. At length 
soL'ie of his newly acquired friends desirous of forming a 
connection that must operate greatly to their advantage, 
suggested the propriety of his taking another wife, as it 
would be intpossible for one woman to manage his house- 
liold affairs and wait upon all the guests his rising impor- 
tance would call to visit him. That his consequence to 
tlio nation was everywhere known and acknowledged, 
and that in aU probability, he would soon be called upon 
to jireside as their chief. His vanity was fired at the 
thought : he yielded an easy compliance with their solici- 
tations, and jiccepted a wife they had already selected for 
him. After his second marriage it became an object 
v.ith him, to take his new Avifc home, and reconcile his 


long's skiff voyage to thk 

first '^^"ife to tlio match, which he was desh'ous of accom- 
plishing in tlic most delicate maimer, that circumstances 
would admit. For this purpose, he returned to his first 
wife, who was yet ignorant of what had taken place and 
by dissimulation attempted to beguile her into an appro- 
bation of the step he had taken. ^' You know," said he, 
^^I can love no one so much as I love you; yet I see 
that our connection subjects you to hardships and fatigue, 
too great for you to endure. This grieves me much, but 
'I know of only one remedy by which you can be relieved, 
and which, with your concurrence, shall be adopted. 'My 
friends from all parts of the nation, come to visit me, and 
my house is constantly thronged, by those who come to 
pay their respects, while you alone, are under the neces- 
sity of laboring hard in order to cook their food, and wait 
upon them. They are daily becoming more numerous 
and your duties instead of growing lighter, are becoming 
more arduous every day. You must be sensible that I 
am rising higli in the esteem of the nation, and 1 have 
sufficient grounds to expect that I shall ere long be their 
chief. These considerations have induced me to take 
another wife, but my aflbction for yuu has so far prevailed 
over my inclination in this respect, as to lead me to solicit 
your approbation, before I ado})t the measure. The wife 
I take shall be sul>joct to your control in every respect, 
and will always be second to you in my affections. " . She 
listened to his narration with the utmost anxiety and 
concern, and endeavoured to reclaim him from his juir- 
pose, refuting all the reasons and pretences his duplicity 
had urged in favor of it, by unanswerable arguments, 
the suggestions of unaHectcd love and conjugal affection. 



lie left her liowevev, to meditate upon the su].)ject, in 
ho\)Qs tliat she 'svould at' length give over lier objections 
and consent to his wishes. She in the mean time re- 
donblcd her indnstry, and treated him invariably with 
more marked tenderness, than slie had done beforei 
resolved to try every means in her power, to dissuade 
liim from the execution of his purpose. She still how- 
ever found him bent upon it. She plead all the endear- 
ments of their former life, the regard he had for the 
hap|)iness of herself and the offspring of their mutual 
love, to prevail on him to relinquish the idea of taking 
another wife ; she warned him of the fatal consequences 
that would result to their frimily, upon his taking sucli a 
step. Till at length he was induced to communicate the 
event of his marriage. He then told her that a compli- 
ance on her part would be absolutely necessary. That 
if she could not receive his new wife as a friend and 
companion, she must admit her as a necessary incum- 
brance, at all events, they must live together. She 
was determined however, not to remain the passive dupe 
of liis hypocrisy. She took her two children, left his 
house, and went to reside with her parents. Soon after 
lier return to her father's family, she joined them and 
others of her friends in an expedition up the Missisippi, 
(o spend tlie winter in hunting. In the spring as they 
were returning laden v;ith peltries, she and her children 
occu{>icd a canoe by themselves. On arriving near tlie 
Falls of St. Anthony, she lingered by the way, till the 
rest h;id all landed a Kttle above the chute. She then 
painted herself and children, p.addled her canoe imme- 
diately into the suck of the rapids, and commenced 


loxg's skiff voyage to the 

singing lier death song, in wliich she recounted the 
happy scenes she had passed through when she en- 
joyed tlie undivided alTection of her husband, and the 
Avretchednes in which she was involved by his incon- 
stancy. Her friends alarmed at. her situation, ran to the 
shore, and begged her to paddle out of the current ; while 
her parents, in the agonies of despair, rending their 
clothes, and tearing out their liair, besought her to come 
to then- arms. But all to no purpose : her wretchedness 
%vas complete and must terminate only with her exist- 
ence. She continued her course till slie was born head- 
long down the roaring cataract and insiantly dashed to 
pieces on the rocks below. Xo trace either of herself and 
children or the boat were ever found afterwards. Her 
brothers to be avenged of tlic untimely fall of their sister, 
embraced the first opportunity and killed her husband, 
whom they considered the cause of her death. A custom 
sanctioned by the usage of tlie Indians from time im- 

After having viewed the falls upon this side of the 
river, we attempted to cross the rapids in our boat, but 
the water was so low and iho current so rapid, tliat we 
were compelled to return again to tlie same side, which 
we accomplislied at tlie risk of luiving the boat wrecked 
upon a large rock, which wo were but just able to shun. 
Made a second attempt, a little further down, in which 
we succeeded. Having taken a view of the cataract on 
both sides, we commenced descending the river at a 
quarter past ten, a. m., in h()})cs that we should arrive at 
the mouth of tiie St. Peter's in time to take an observa- 
tion for the latitude of that [)lace. lUit finding we were 



likely to be pressed for lime, we stopped one nnd a half 
miles aljovOj where we found the altitude of the sun's 
lower lind), when on the meridian, to be 66°. After 
arriving at the St. Peter's we layby two or three hours, 
in order to examine the country in that neighborhood. 
At the mouth of this river is an island of considerable 
extent, separated from the main by a slough of the Mis- 
sissippi, into which the St. Peter's discharges itself. 
Boats in ascending the former, particularly in low water, 
usually pass through this slough, as it affords a greater 
depth than the channel upon the other side of the island. 
Immediately above the mouth of the St. Peter's is a 
tract of flat prairie, extending far up this river and about 
three hundred and fifty yards along the slough above 
mentioned. This tract is subject to inundation in time 
of high water; which is also the case with the flat lands 
generally, situated on both sides of these rivers. Next 
above this tract, is a high point of land, elevated about 
one hundred and twenty feet above the water, and 
fronting immediately on the Mississippi, but separated 
from the St. Peter's by the tract above described. The 
j)oint is formed by the blufls of the two rivers intercept- 
ing each other. Passing up the river on the lirow of the 
Mississippi r)lufl", the ground rises gradually for the 
distance of about six hundred yards, when an extensive 
broad valley of moderate depth commences. But on the 
St. Peter's tlie bluff retains nearly the same altitude, 
being intersected occasionally by ravines of moderate 
depth. A jnilitary work of considerable magnitude 
might be constructed on the point, and might be rendered 
suliicicntly secure by occupying the commanding height 


long's skiff voyace to the 

in the renr in n suitable inanner, as the latter would 
control not only the point, but all the ncigh])oring heights, 
to the full extent of a twelve pounder's range. The 
work on the point would be necessary to control the 
navigation of the two rivers. But without the com- 
manding work in the rear, would 1)e lialjle to be greatly 
annoyed from a height situated directly opposite on the 
other side of the Mississippi, which is here no more than 
about two hundred and fifty yards wide. This latter 
height, however, would not be eligible for a permanent 
post, on account of the numerous ridges and ravines 
situated immediately in its rear. 

lle-embarked and descended to the Fountain Cave, 
where we landed again and went into the cave for the 
purpose of taking some of its dimensions. Owing to 
the dilFerent states of the atmosphere, we could not 
penetrate so far by fifty yards as we did yesterday, 
before our candles went out. We measured the distance, 
as far as we wont on this occasion, which we found to be 
one hundred and fifty yards. We embarked the third 
time, laid in a su])ply of wood for the night, kindled a 
fire in our cabouse, and concluded to float during the 
night. We regretted exceedingly that we could not 
spend more time in the enjoyment of the scenes we had 
been witnessing to-day, but were induced to forego the 
pleasure from ilie circumstance that our provisions were 
nearly exhausted, from a want of care in the destribu- 
tion of them ; that we had no whisky remaining, on 
the same account, wliich may be considered a necessary 
of life to tliose em])loyed in the navigation of the ^lis- 
sissi})pi in liot wcatlier. These concerns 1 had entrusted 



to my Corporal as it was iiii])Ossible for me to manage 
them, and perfoi-in mv other duties at the same time. 
But as lie Avas appointed to ofTiciate in that capacity at 
the commencement of the voyage, Avithout ever having 
had the requisite experience before, he did not know how 
to distiibute with proper economy, although he was 
extremely anxious to do so. 

Fridajj^ IS. — Floated all night, with no otlier inconve- 
nience but occasionally running upon sand-bars. Landed 
at the River St. Croix for the purpose of examining the 
ground situated below the mouth of that river. At this 
place is a position well calculated for the command of 
both rivers ; with the exception, that there is an island 
of the Mississippi, several miles long, situated opposite 
to the confluence of the two. On the west side of the 
Mississippi is a very small slough, that separates the 
island from the main land. This slough is navigable 
in high water, but its navigation may be effectually 
obstructed by constructing cheveux de frise and sinking 
them in the channel. With this exception a military 
post might be established here to considerable advantage, 
and would be sufficiently secure by occupying a com- 
manding ground situated in rear of the site proposed, 
with an enclosed work constructed on the principle of 
the Martello Tower. 

About twenty miles below the St. Croix met the 
grandsons of Carver before spoken of We parted with 
them the second day after leaving Prairie du Chien, and 
saw nothing more of them till this day. We stopi)ed a 
few minutes with them and gave them some instructions, 
to enable therii to find the cave. W^e lay l)y a while at 


long's skiff vovAGi: TO Tin: 

a SiouK village four and one-half niile.s above Lake 
Pepin in order to catch some fi^li, as we had notliing left 
of our provisions hut flour. Our wliisky also Avas all 
expended, and we had two hundred miles further to go 
before w^e could obtain a fresh suppl}'. Caught three 
very fine catfish and killed a few pigeons. Tiie village 
was kept in very nice order, exhibiting more signs of a 
well regulated police than any one I have met with on 
the voyage, with the exception of the Little Raven's 
before mentioned. The name of the chief of their village 
is lied Wing the elder, lie and all his band were on a 
hunting tour at the time we were there. During our 
delay at this place Mr. 11. and myself ascended a hUl 
further down the river, called the Grange, or Barn, of 
which it has some faint resemblance. Its length is 
three-quarters of a mile and its height about four hun- 
dred feet. Its acclivity on (ho river side is precipitous, 
that on the opposite very abrupt. It is completely 
insulated from the other highlands in the neighborhood, 
which is also the case with ma)iy others, within a moder- 
ate distance, though not in quite so remarkable a manner; 
for this is not only surrounded by valleys, but is also 
nearly insulated l)y water, an ai m or bay of the river 
entering at the lower end of the hill and extending 
within three or four hundred yards of the river above. 
Immediately u}ton the higliest jnart of the Grange is one 
of the numerous artificial mounds that are to be met 
with in almost every part of this western world. Its 
elevation above its base however is only about five feet. 
I have observed that tlic mounds on the Mississii)pi, 
above the Illinois, though probably more numerous, are 



of ii much SDialler size, generally than tlio>c below, 
having* been erected perha})S by a difleient nation of 

From the summit of the Grange the view of the sur- 
rounding scenery is surpassed, pei'haps, by very few, if 
any, of a similar character that the country and probably 
the world can afford. The sublime and beautiful are 
here blended in most enchanting manner, while the pros- 
pect has very httle to terrify or shock the imagination. 

To aid in forming an idea approximating in some de- 
gree to the reality of the scene, we may suppose that 
the country at the head of Lake Pepin, situated between 
the main bluiis of the grand Mississippi Valley, has once 
been inundated to the height of two hundred and fifty 
feet above the present water leveL That at this time 
the lake embosomed numerous small islands of a circular, 
oblong, and serpentine form. That from the main land 
also promontories and peninsulas projected into the lake 
on all sides, forming numerous capes, bays, and inlets. 
That the country bordering upon the lake was an exten- 
sive plain, in many places variegated with gentle hills 
and dales of the same general level with the islands and 
promontories. We may then suppose that by some tre- 
mendous convulsion that must have shaken the earth to 
its centre, this vast body of water has been drained off 
to its present humble level and left the bed of the lake 
iVee of water, and furnished with a rich and fertile allu- 
vion, well adapted to vegetation of all kinds. That 
afterwards the valleys and knobs assumed a \erdant 
.dress, and those places which were once the hamits of 
the fumy tribes now became the resorts of the feathered, 



and Avc shall liiivo a fliint iden of the outlines of the 
scene. But to bo impressed with the sublimit}'^ and 
delighted with tlie beauty of the picture, a view of the 
original is indispensable. 

A favourable breeze springing up about dark, ve con- 
cluded to set sailj as it was only four and a half miles to 
the lidvC, and after our arrival there we should sail with- 
out obstructions either of trees or sand bars. 

Saiurda//, 10. — We had got into the broadest part of 
the lake about midnight, when tlie wind began to blow 
stronger, and there were at the same time strong indica- 
tions of an approaching storm; we shifted our course 
and made for the shore as fast as possible, which we 
fortunately reached before the storm became violent. 
The night was so dark that we could find no harbor in 
which to secure our boat. AVe were engaged about one 
hour in towing her along the beach, in hopes of finding 
one, but the violence of the storm increased and the boat 
began to fill with water, so that we were forced to take 
out all oiu' baggage with the least possible delay, all of 
which we liad the good luck to saA e, without its hav ing 
received much injury. AVe tlien made fast the boat and 
left her to fill, as it was out of our ])()wer to prevent her 
filling while the surf ran so high :ind strong. We suc- 
ceeded in ])itching our tent after much trouble, and got 
our baggage deposited within it. Our next object was 
to kindle a fire, ])ut on inf[uiry found tliat oui- apparatus 
for that purpose was completely drenched in water. I 
tlien tore a piece of the lining iVum my coat sleeve, being 
the only j.laee where I could fiiid it dry, and kindled a 
fire with some dry rotten wood the men chanced to find 



in the dark. The day dawned soon after and we began 
to make preparation for starting again, though the storm 
continued Avith some abatement. We found the 
most important parts of our baggage had received but 
little injury, and that our boat was not damaged. We 
embarked again at lialf past six, rowed out into the lake 
till we could clear a point lying a little to the leeward of 
us, hoisted sail, and ran ^vith great speed. The surf ran 
so high and strong that we Avere in danger of filling 
several times, as the waves broke over the sides of our 
little bark. Called at the Indian village situated upon 
Sandy Point, the same that we left our chief at, on our 
outw^ard voyage. He had promised to return witli us, 
but during our absence had been prevailed upon to join 
the Indians of the viRage on a hunting expedition up 
the Chippeway river, in which they were then about to 
embark. The name of the chief of this village was Eed 
Wing, the younger, son of E.ed Wing spoken of yester- 
day. We delayed here but a very few minutes. Sailed 
through the lake with a strong wind. At evening the 
weather became calm, and Ave concluded to float through 
the night. Lay by a short time about sunset to collect 
wood and kindle a fire in our caboose, during which 
caught three catfish. 

Sundaif, 20. — Met with no inconvenience in floating 
except running foul of sand-l)ars occasional)}', from whicli 
we easily extricated ourselves. Passed Le Feuille, or 
the Leaf's village, at which there were no Indians to be 
seen, all of them havinji recentlv 2'one on a hunting' cam- 
paign. Stopped at the sand bar, where we took o])ser- 
vatiuns to ascertain the height of the Blufl' Island, on 


our passage up. TIcrc wo found our nxo wliicli ^ve lost 
on that occasion. Landed airain on BhuT Island, for the 
purpose of ascending to the top of the hill, ^vhich I did 
in company -with ]\Ir. H. Here \vc had a A'iew of the 
Indian viUagc on Aux Ailes Prairie, as also of the benuti- 
ful scenery mentioned in my journal of Saturday, 12th 
inst. Here Ave discovered that Avhat before appeared to 
be the main river blufls on the left, just below the 
island, were a broken range of high blulf lands, towering 
into precipices and peaks, completely insulated from the 
main bluffs by a broad Hat prairie. This range, in 
connection with the island, may be considered a great 
curiosity, when we reflect that their sides have once 
been buffeted by the billows of a, lake, at least two 
hundred feet above the present water level. A little 
below we saw three Indians on shore, engaged in killing 
a rattlesnake. They called to us and said that one of 
their band had been bit on his leg by the snake, upon 
which we waited for them to come to us. Immediately 
after the wound was inflicted they had cut out a piece 
of the flesh containing the wounded part, and applied 
bandages to the leg above. I proposed salt and water 
as a wash for the wound, but they objected, being 
j)rejudiced against admitting water to a wound in any 
case. I had no sweet oil or any thing else that I 
thought serviceable, and could do nothing more but 
advise them to return as soon as possible to their 

Laycd by a while to ascend another hill, said to be 
the highest on the ^Jississip[ii. It is of a senii-coniial 
form as it presents itself to the Aiew from tlie river, but 



nfter n.-contlin;r. it itppears to bo a ridge, the liigliest part 
of wliicli projcL'ts tov/ards the rivei-, forming a high pro- 
iiiineut peak, cleft perpendicularly from its summit about 
two hundred (d* two hundred and fifty feet. From this 
point it declines gradually till it loses itself in the bases 
of other hills farther from the liver. The view from its 
summit dircet to the river is rendered exceedingly ter- 
rific by one of the most frightful precipices I ever beheld. 
Even the largest trees below appear like stunted shrub- 
bery, and the river seems to be almost inaccessible from 
its A'ast depression. I took observations for estimating 
the height of the hill, agreeably to which its elevation 
above the water is one thousand feet, but I am inclined 
to think some mistake was committed either in the 
measurement of the l^ase line or in readimr the anodes 
from my sextant, as by the estimate the hill is much 
higher than I should judge it to be from its appearances. 
From this hill we also had a view of Blufl' Island and its 
neighboring heights on the left shore, as well as the 
main blufts of the river as far as the eye could reach. 
The beauty, grandeur, and magnilicence of the scene, 
completely bailies description. The most curious and 
wonderful part of the i^canQvy was the passage of the 
river between the main blu(fs on the right and the insu- 
lated ran ire before mentioned, on the left of the river. 
Here the river, not contented as in other i)laces to mean- 
<ler through a valley several miles in width, seems to 
have left its original channel, preferring to cut a passage, 
ju>t Vv'ide enough for its accommodation, through a cape 
<»r })romontory six or eight hundred feet high, rather 
tliau embellish an extensive and beatttilui lawn with its 


LOXd's SKirt' v()VA(;k to t(ii: 

peaceful waters. This phenomeno]i can he accounted 
for on no other princi}>le, than the existence of a lake 
that once occupied the valley of the Mississippi, filling 
it to tlio height of many hundred feet ahove the present 
water level. Tliis vast body of water may have given 
occasion to billows which wore upon the sandstone for- 
mations of the lake shores, and in process of time formed 
inlets, bayS; peninsulaSj and islands, so that when the 
water was drained oiV to its present level, the highlands 
and valley retained these singular conformations, as tes- 
timonials of the great damages they had experienced. 
On the top of the liill we collected many interesting 
specimens of minerals, such as crystals of iron ore, sili- 
cious crystalizations, beautifully tinged with iron, some 
of them purple, others reddish, yellow, white, etc., crusts 
of sandstone strongly cemented with iron, and I think 
set Avith solid crystals of quartz, etc. This hill would 
seem to be entitled to the ap})elhition of mountain, vrere 
it not that the neigh])oring heights, and the highlands 
generally on this pari of the river have very nearly the 
same altitude. 

Ilondai/, 21. — floated last night also; had made very 
little progress on account of bad winds. While we 
stopped to breakfast, caught sevei'al fish, which, since 
we have no meat, are become essential to a healthy sub- 
sistence, particularly as my men Ilu o hard duty to per- 

Met twelve canoes of Fox Indians on a huntina- tour 
from the U})per loway Paver. T'here were three very 
aged scpiaws with them, one of wliom A\as entirely blind. 
She was busily engaged in twisting slips of bark for the 



purpose of making rush maU. This lahoi-, not\vithstai)fl- 
ing licr blindness and great age. she pcrrornied with 
much expedition. 

Passed the Painted Pock on the right of the river, 
nine miles above Prairie du Chien. It lias obtained this 
name from its having numerous hioroglyjthics upon it, 
painted by the Indians. Tliese figures are painted on a 
cliff nearly perpendicular, at the height of about twenty- 
five feet from its base. Whenever the Indians pass this 
clitr they are in the habit of performing certain cere- 
monies, which their superstition loads them to believe 
are efficacious in rendering any enterprise in which they 
may be engaged, successful. 

Arrived at Prairie du Chien a little after nine o'clock 
in the evening, having accomplished the trip from this to 
the Falls of St. Anthony and back again, in thirteen 
days, being three days sooner than I had expected to 
return at the time of my departure from this place. 

Tuesday, 22. — Found my friends at this place all very 
well excepting Captain Duffhey who had been bitten by 
a rattlesnake on tlie day of my departure. He received 
the wound in the instep where the tooth of the snake 
penetrated to the bone. He applied a bandage upon his 
leg in the first instance, and resorted to medical aid as 
soon as it w\as practicable. When he was bitten he was 
in the w^oods four miles from home, consequently the 
poison must have hiid a considerable time to diffuse 
itself, before he could a|»p]y a remed\'. His foot and leg 
swelled veiy much and became black, but the remedies 
applied proved efficacious, and he is now }>ast danger, and 
is so tlir recovered that he is able to walk about with 

u)N(; s SKIKK voVAci: TO Tiir: 

Wednesda?/^ 23. — Dr. Perivsoii, Ll. Arinstroiig and 
myself, took lior^es and rode about the neighborhood 
this morning, for the ])urpose of discovering a ])Osition 
better calculated for a military post, than the present 
site of Fort Crawford. We ^vent down the Prairie to 
the Ouisconsiuj then followed the course of tliat river 
about three miles above the commencement of the liigli- 
lands, but could discover no i)osi{i()u tliat was not objec- 
tionable in very inany respects. The Prairie itself is 
separated from tiie Ouisconsiu by a broad marshy tract 
of land, annually subject to inundation, which is tlie 
case also with some parts of tlie Prairie. TIic highlands 
are intersected by numerous ravines, and exhibit a 
constant succession of hills, ridges, and valleys of 
various depths. They are inaccessible from the river at 
many points, and overlook it at Jione, the view, as well 
as the command of tlie ri^■^M^ being effectually obstructed 
by the numerous islands whicli it imbosoms. Although 
there was no o})portunity to accomplish the object of our 
reconnoitre, still, however, we had occasion to l)e highly 
gratified with a survey of curiosities that have baflled 
the ingenuity and j)enetraiion of the wisest to account 
for them. The curiosities alluded to are the remains of 
ancient works, constructed probably for military purposes, 
which we found more numerous and of greater extent 
upon the highlands, just above the mouth of the Ouis- 
consin, than any, of which a d(\-i'ription has been made 
public, that have yet been discovered in tlie western 
country. They consist ol' I'idges, or para])ets of eartii, 
and mounds, variously disposed so as to conform to llio 
nature of the ground they ai-e intended to fortify, the 


surface of wliicli is ^arie^i'ated willi iiiiincroiis ritlQ-es, 
liills, valleys and ravines. The works of course have 
no regular form. Tlie parapets are generally about three 
and a half feet high, with no appearance of a ditch upon 
either side, and are intercepted at short intervals by 
gateways or sallyports, most of which are flanked b>' 
parapets or mounds. The parapets are mostly situated 
upon ridges, some few, however, are disposed after the 
manner of traverses, being carried across the interior 
of the works in various directions. The mounds are 
from four to six feet in height, at present of a circular 
form, though square probably when first constructed. 
They are arrranged in a straight direction, are about 
twenty feet asunder, and form continuation of the for- 
tified lines, having the same direction as the parapets. 
Wherever there is an angle in the principal lines, a 
mound of the largest size is erected : the parapets also 
are generally terminated by mounds of this description, 
at the extremities of lines as also at the gateways. In 
many places the lines are composed of parapets and 
mounds in conjunction, the mounds being arranged along 
the parapet at their usual distance from each other and 
operating as flank defences to the lines. These works 
exhibit abundant evidence of having been erected at 
the expense of a vast deal of labor. Works of a similar 
character are to be found scattered through this part of 
the country in various directions. At what period they 
were constructed, and by what race of people, must in ;dl 
pro])ability forever remain a desideratum. 

TliW'schu/, 24.— Capt. Duftliey, Lt. Armstroug, Mr. 
Ilcm])stcad and myself took an excursion into the neigh- 


long's skiff vovac.e to the 

boring liigli Iniids to-day, in order to a.scertciin, in some 
measure, of what character they are, and to visit sonic 
of the remains of ancient fortifications. We rode across 
the country ahout twenty miles to Kickapoo Creek, and 
returned acrain in a course diflcrent from that in wliich 
we travelled out. The country is divided into numerous 
hills, or rather ridges, of \ arious shapes and dimensions, 
but generally of an equal altitude ; by valleys and ravines, 
some of which have fine streams of spring water running 
through thcm.^^ The hills are generally elevated from 
three to four or five hundred feet aljove the v alleys : 
handsomely rounded upon their tops,, but abrupt and 
precipitons on their sides, and almost inaccessible except 
throuo'h the numerous ravines bv wliich they are cut. 
The valleys are many of tliom broad, and appear well 
adapted to tillage and pasture. The highlands also 
appear well calculated lor the raising of grain. The 
country is generally praii ie land, but the hills and valleys 
are in some places covered with a scattering growth of 
fine timber, consisting of white, red, and j)Ost oak, 
hickory^ white walnut, sugar tree, maple, white and 
blue ash, American box, etc. The antiquities Avere of 
a similar character with those descrihed yesterday. Of 
these we saAV numerous examples upon the hills and 
ridges, as also a few in the valleys. Those on the ridges, 
had the a|)pearance of hcing d(\<iL:ned to resist an attack, 
on both sides, beinp fnr the nio>l jiart a single parajiet, 
of considerable extent, crossed at v\'A\[ angles by traverses 
at the distances of twenty nr thirty yards from each 
other, and having no diidi upini (Mtlier side. Those in 
the valleys appeared io have been constructed to com- 



maud the passage of the particular valley in wliicli they 
were situated. Some appeared as if they liad been in- 
tended to defend against the .attack of cavahy, as they 
were constructed across the heads of ravines through 
which horses must pass in order to get upon the top of 
the hills. We saw no works that signs of 
having been completed enclosures, but the whole were in 
detached parts, consisting of parapets, traverses, and 
mounds, formino- lines and flanks. 

We had designed also to visit a. natural curiosity upon 
[the] banks of the same creek, but were not able to 
find it. Agreeably to the representations of several 
Indians Avhom I consulted on the occasion, it is ca 
gigantic figure of stone resembling the human shape. 
It stands erect in a niche or recess formed in a precipice, 
the brow of which projects forward so as to overhang the 
figure. There are prominent parts of the precipice also, 
upon either side of the figure, resembling the jambs of a 
fire-place. The Indians pay religious homage to this 
figure, sacrificing tobacco, and other things they deem 
valuable, at the foot of it. The history the}' give of it. 
is, that a long time since a very bloody battle was fought 
at Prairie du Chien, in which vast numbers were slain, 
and the inhabitants of the Prairie vanquished. That a 
very good woman, after having received several wounds, 
made her escape from the carnage, and fled to the neigh- 
bouring hills, whei'o she was like to famish for want of 
provisions. Tliat the Good Spirit, pitying her condition, 
converted her into tliis monument of veneration and for 
a long time killed every Indian that dared approach in 
sight of it. But at length being tired of this havoc, he 



stayed liis hand, and now suffers tlicm to approach and 
worship it witli impunity. 

Fridaij. 25. — Spent the day in measuring and planning 
Fort Crawford and its buihlings. The work is a sqnare 
of three hundred and forty feet upon each side ; and is 
constructed entirely of wood, as arc all its buildings, 
except the magazine. Avhicli is of stone. It will accom- 
modate five companies of soldiers. The enclosure is 
formed principally by the quarters and other buildings 
of the garrison, so that tlie amount of all the palisade 
work does not exceed three hundred and fifty feet in 
extent. The faces of the work are flanked by two block 
houses, one of which is situated in tlie S. E. and the other 
ill the xs. W. corner of the Fort, being alternate or 
opposite angles. The block houses are two stories high, 
with cupolas or turrets u}>on their tops. The first stories 
are calculated as flank defences to the garrison ; the second 
afford an oblique flank defence, and at the same time 
guard the approacli to the angles in which the block 
houses are situated, being placed diagonally upon the 
first. The turrets iire fortified with oak ])lank upon 
their sides, and furnished with loo[> Iioles for muskets or 
wall pieces. The qaurters, store-houses, etc., are ranged 
alons: the sides of the «j:arrison, their rear walls consti- 
tuting the faces of the work, Avhich are furnished with 
loop holes at the distance of six feet from each other. 
The buildings are cunstiaietcd \vi(h shed roofs, slo})ing 
inwards, so that their outward v.'alls are raised twenty 
feet from the ground, thus i)resenting an insurmountable 
barrier to an as<:dling enemy; the ])uildings are all 
rou2:h shimxied, except tiie blo-.k houses which are 


covered ^y\i\\ smootli sliingles. Tlie rooms nrc generally 
about nineteen feet square, most of tlicni floored with oak 
plank, and all that were designed for quarters furnished 
with a door and window each in front. The inai2:azine 
is twenty-four ].)y tweh e feet in the clear, the walls four 
feet thick, and the arch above supported hy a strong 
flooring of timber. It has at present no other covering 
but the arch ; preparations are making however to erect 
a roof over it, and cover it with shingles. The works 
are for the most part constructed of square timber, and 
the crevices in the avails of the buiklings plastered with 
lime mortar, in such a manner as renders them comfort- 
able habitations, except that the roofs are not well calcu- 
lated to shed rain. The troops, however, are at present 
busily occupied in dressing shingles, cutting timber etc., 
in order to repair the defective parts of the works, and 
make additions where they are found necessary. Piazzas 
are to be built in front of all the quarters, floors to be 
laid, ceiling, etc., to be made, all of which are necessary 
to cleanliness and a well regulated police within the 
garrison. The building of these works was commenced 
on the 3d of July, 181G, by the troops stationed here 
under the command of Colonel Hamilton; previous to 
wdiich no timber had been cut or stones quarried for the 
purpose. These articles were to be ]n'ocured at the dis- 
tance of from two to five miles from the site of the 
garrison, and transporied to it in boats. The country 
where they were to be procured was so broken and 
hilly, that teams could not be employed even to convey 
them to the boats, Init all must be done by manual labor. 
AVith all these disadvantages and hardships, and still 


long's skiff VOYAC.E Tf) THE 

more, wiih a corrupt and sickly ahnosj.licrc, liave the 
soldiery at tliis ])lace liad to contend, in order to con- 
struct works of suilicient niairnLtude and strenetli to 
guard this })art of our frontier. A considerable part of 
the work was done in the winter season, wlieu at the 
same time they were compelled to lict their fuel at the 
distance of two or tliree miles from the garrison, and in 
many instances to draw it home by hand. Yet no extra 
compensation, either in pay or clothing, has been allowed 
them in a single instance, although the whole of this 
labor was unquestionably extra duty. 

In regard to the eligi])ility of tlie site upon wliich 
Fort Crawford is situated, very little can be said in favor, 
but much against it. Its relation to otlier parts of the 
country would seem to .uive it a high claim to considera- 
tion as a military jiost ; as also its central situation with 
respect to our Indian neigldjors. But the disadvantages 
mider which works of moderate expeiise particularly 
must lie, in tliis neighhorliood, are too numerous to ad- 
mit a doubt cf the inipro})riety of placing confidence in 
works of a similar character with those now constructed 
while in a state of wa.r. Tlie first objection that pre- 
sents itself, is, that the situation, from the nature of the 
place, must ])e uuheahhy. It is ahnost surrounded with 
stagnant water at a shc>rt distance from the fort. The 
country about it abounds in marshes and low lands, an- 
nuallv sul/joct to be ONcrdowed, and the part of ihc 
river lying immediately in front of the ],)lace, is very 
little better than a slagnaid pool, as its current is hardly 
perceptible in low watei'. In a military point of vi-^w 
the objections to the [»rescnt site, as also to any other 



that might he fixed upon in tlic iicigliborliood, {ire varloiis, 
and cannot easily be obviated. No complete command 
of the river can be had liere, on acconnt of the islands 
which it indjosoms. Directly opposite to the fort, and 
at the distance of six hundred and fifty }'ards from it, is 
an island two and a half miles in length, and seven Inm- 
dred yards in breadth, separated from the east shoi'c by 
a channel five hundred yards wide, and from tlie west 
by a channel two hundred and fifty yards. Both above 
and below this are numerous others effectually ol)struct- 
ing the command of the river from any single point. At 
the distance of about six hundred yards from the fort, to 
the south and east of it, is a circular ralley, through 
which troops might be conducted completely under cover 
and secure from the guns of the fort. At the entrance 
of this valley, the enemy's troops landed in time of tlie 
late war, and under cover of a small mound a little in 
advance of it, commenced cannonading the old garrison 
(which occupied the highest part of the site of the pre- 
sent fort) with a three pounder, and soon compelled them 
to surrender. Immediately in rear of tlie place are the 
main river blufis, at the distance of about one and a half 
miles from tlic fort. These are heights elevated four 
hundred and twenty feet above the site of the garrison, 
and overlook the whole of the Prairie du Chien. The 
site has been repeatedly sul)ject to inundation, which is 
always to be appreliended when excessive floods prevail 
in the river. Indeed, the military features of the place 
generally are so faint and obscure that they avouM 
bardlv be percepti]>le, except by occupying several of 
the neighboring heights with castles and towers in order 


long's skiff voyage to Till-: 

to protect an extensive Avork erected in the prairies 

Sahirda^, 2G. — Prairie du Chien is a liandsome tract 
of low land, situated on tlie east side of the ^Iississip})i., 
immediately above its continence with the Oiiisconsin. 
It is bounded on tlie east by the river bhoTs, wliicli 
stretch themsehes alon;^- u[)on that side in nearl}^ a 
straight direction, and occasionally intersected by ravines 
and valleys wliich aflbrd easy communications with the 
hilly country situated back of the blutls. The prairie is 
about ten miles in lengtli, and from one to two and a 
half miles in breadth. In some parts it is handsoiuely 
variegated with s^vclls and valleys that are secure from 
the inundations of the river ; but in others, flat marshy 
lands, sloughs, and pools of water present themselves, 
which, althougli they add some embellishments to the 
scenery, serve to render the })lace unhealthy. ]Many 
parts of the prairie, wliich are sufliciently dry for culti- 
vation in the summer season, are subject to be overflowed 
whenever floods pre\ail in the river. The southerly 
part of the prairie is sei)arated both from the ^Mississippi 
and the Ouisconsin by a large tract of marshy Avoodland 
extending along tlie sliores of hoih rivers, and from half 
to one and a lialf miles in width. This tract in many 
places is cut ])y sloughs of moderate depth communica- 
ting" with tlie main eliannels of the two rivers. The 
vievr of botli rivers, from tlie ])rairie is generally ob- 
structed by the trees and shrubbery growing ui)on tlie 
marshy lands, as also by the numerous islands which 
both, j-ivers inihosoni, so that lU'ither of them can he 
seen excci)t in a ^ ery few instances. The blulVs oa the. 



Avcst side of tlic Mississippi present themselves in gigantic 
forms immediately alom;' the marsrin of the river, and 
extend up the river many miles, till they a])pear to bo 
interrupted by those on the east. South of the Ouiscou- 
sin, the bluffs of the two rivers intercept each other, and 
form a stupendous promontory, between uhich nud Pike's 
hill on the west, opens a broad vista, through Avhich the 
two rivers flow, after having mingled their waters. 

The village of Prairie du Chien, according to Pike, was 
first settled by the French in 17S3. A man by the 
name of Giard, who died suddenly during my voyage up 
the Ouisconsin, is said to have been the first settler. lie 
was of Prencli and Indian extraction. Pike mentions 
tw^o others, M. Antaya and Dubu(|ue, who established 
themselves here at the same time with Giard. The 
ground occupied by these settlers v\\as at a little distance 
below^ the present vilhige. Exclusive of stores, woi'k- 
shops, and stables, the village at present contains only 
sixteen dwelling houses occupied by families. These 
are situated on a street parallel with the river, and about 
one half mile in length. In rear of the villao;e, at the 
distance of three quarters of a mile, are four others. 
Two and a half miles above are five; and at the upper 
end of the prairie, five miles from the village, are four 
dwelling houses. Besides these, there are several houses 
situated upon different parts of the prairie, in all not ex- 
ceeding seven or eight ; so that the whole number of 
family dv\'elli]igs, now occupied, does not exceed thirfy- 
eight. The buildings are generally of logs, i>lastered 
with mud or clay; some of iheni comfortable liabitations, 
but none of thcui exhibit any display of elegance or taste. 



The inluibitaiits are ])rincipally of ImthcIi and Indian ex- 
traction. There are A'cry few of them that have not 
savage blood in their veins. If we coni})are the vilUige 
and its inhabitants in tlieir present state with what they 
Avere when Pike visited tliis })art of tlie country, we shall 
find that instead of ilnpro^•ing tliey ha\'e ])een degene- 
rating. Their ini})rovenient has l^een checked by a 
diversion of the Indian into other channels, and their 
degeneracy accelerated not only by a consequent iin- 
poverishnient of the inlia])itants, ])ut in addition to natu- 
ral decay, their unconc|uerable slotlifulness and want of 

About one mile back of the village is the Grand Farm, 
which is an extensive enclosure cultivated by the inha- 
bitants in common. It is about six miles in length, and 
from a quarter to half a mile in width, surrounded by a 
fence on one side and the river jjluffs on the other, and 
thus secured from the depredations of the cattle and 
horses that were at large upon the ])rairies. Upon this 
farm, corn, wheat, potatoes, etc., are cultivated to con- 
siderable advantage ] and with proper care, no doubt, 
large crops of these articles, together with fruits of 
various kinds might be raised. They have never yet 
taken nains to seed the iiround with any kind of arain 
except the summer wheat, which is never so productive 
as the fall or winter wheat. Tiye, l)arjey, oats, etc., 
would undoubtedly succeed well upon tlu^ farm. 

The soil of the jir.-iirie is generally a silicious loam, 
containing moi'C m* less black mold, and is of various 
depths, from one to three leet. ]]elow this is a bed of 
sand and small pebbles, extending pi'obably to a con- 


siderable doptli. and alternating^ with veins of elay and 

Tliere are numerous antiquities discoverable upon 
various parts of the prairie, consisting of parapets, 
mounds, and cemeteries ; relative to which tlie Indians 
]iave no traditions, and the oldest of them can Liivc no 
account. Tliey onl}' sup])cse that the country was once 
inhabited by a race of white people like tlic present 
Americans, wlio have been completely exterminated by 
their forefiithers. This supposition is grounded u])on 
the circunLstance of their liaving discovered human bones 
in the earth buried much deeper than tlie Indians are in 
the habit of burying their dead, and never accompanied 
by any implements of any kind, which tlie Indians ha^'c 
always been accustomed to bury with the body of their 
proprietor. TomahaAvks of brass, and other implements, 
different from any the present Indians make use of, have 
«'ilso been found under the surface of the ground. They 
consider also the ancient fortifications another ])roof of 
the correctness of this opinion, as none of the Indians 
are in the habit of constructing works of a similar char- 
acter, and indeed are unacquainted with the utilit}' of 

Mr. Brisbois, who has been for a lona' time a resident 
of Prairie du Chien, informed me that he saw the skele- 
tons of eight persons, that were found in digging a cellar 
near his house, lying side by side. They were of 
gigantic size, measuring about eight feet from head to 
foot. lie remarked that he took a loa: bone of one of 


them and ]>hiced it ])y the side of his own leg in order 
to compare the length of the two. The bone of tlie 



skeleton extended six iiiclies nljo^'e his knee. Xonc of 
these bones coidd be }'i"eserA ed as tht^y crumbled to dust 
soon after they ^vere exposed to the atmosphere. 

The mounds probaldy were intended both as fortifica- 
tions and cemeteries, as most of them, (pcrliaps all,) con- 
tain human l)ones, and at tlie same time appear to serve 
as Hank defences to fortified lines. 'Whether the ])ones 
they contain ai'c of tlie same character with those de- 
scribed by Mr. ])ris])ois I have not been able to ascertain. 

The Prairie du Chien, oi' the Prairie of the Dog. de- 
rives its name from a family of Indians formerly known 
by the name of tlie Dog Indians, lieaded by a chief called 
the Dog. This family or ])and has become extinct. The 
Indians have some tradition concernint!; them. They 
say that a large party of Indians came down the Ouis- 
consin from Green l]ay. That they attacked the family 
of the Dogs and massacred almost the whole of them, and 
returned again to Green IJay. That a few of the Dogs 
who had succeeded in makiug tlieir escape to the woods, 
returned after their enemies had evacuated the Prairie, 
and re-estabhshed themselves in tlieir former place of 
residence, and that these were the Indians inhabiting 
the Prairie at the time it was first settled by the French. 

The inhabitants of Prairie du Chien have lately caused 
two small schools to be 0})ened, in one of which the 
English language is taught and in the other the Fi'ench. 
This augurs well of the iuture res])ectability of the jilace, 
if at th(; same time they vrould barter their slothful 
habits for those of imhistry. 

Sumhif/^ 27. — Having accomplished my business at 
the Prairie, I took leave of my friends, the oiUcers of the 



garrison, to wliom I foci greatly indebted for the polite- 
ness and attention tliey have shown me, and particularly 
to the commanding ofiicer Capt. DuU'hey. The Sutler 
also, Capt. Owens, evinced his friendship for me and the 
cause in which 1 vras engaged, by cheerfully supplying 
me v\4th funds ^vithout whicli I could not have prosecuted 
my voyage v^-ith expedition or comfort. We re-embarked 
at 10 o'clock A. }.r. to descend the ^Mississippi. My crew 
now^ consisted of only five men, the same I took with 
me from Belle Fontaine, with the exception of Sheffield. 

Last Gvenino: Messrs. Gun and King arrived at the 
Prairie from the Falls of St. Anthony. Whether they 
accomplished the object ot their trip, viz : to establish 
their claim to the tract of country ceded by the Indians 
to their grandfather Carver, I had no time to inquire, 
but presume there is no ground for supposing they did, 
as they before told me they coidd fmd but one Indian, 
who had any knowledge of the transaction or Avas in the 
least disposed to recognize the grant. That they do not 
consider the cession obhgator}^ upon them is very evident, 
from there having ceded, to the United States, througli 
the negotiations of Pike, two parcels of the same tract 
specified in the grant in the favor of Carver. 

Just before night we met the contractor Mr. Glen, on 
his way to Prairie du Chien, with provisions for the 
supply of the garrison at that place. Me left St. Louis 
on the Sth of June, seven days after I commenced my 
voyage, and has been almost constantly engaged in 
ascending the river ever since. When he left St. Louis 
his boat was very heavily laden, having provisions on 
board for the supply of Forts Edward, Armstrong, and 


LO.N(i's SKIFJ" V0VA(,;K TO Tiii: 

Cra^vfor(]. for nine niontlis. lie found both rapids very 
difFicnlt to pass, and has been frequently delayed by 
sand-b;irs. Wo spent some time with liim and I supped 
on board his boat. 

3Ionda-/. 28. — We floated last night till a strong head 
wind induced ns to lay by. Had a shower of rain, 
accompanied ])y heavy thunder, about 2 a. m. Passed 
several canoes of Sauk Indians. The country on this 
part of the Mississippi which appeared beautiful, in a 
very high degree, v. hen we ascended the river, seems to 
have lost lialf of its charms since we have visited the 
more noble scenery above. 

Had strong head Vvinds most of the day, so that onr 
progress was very slow. Passed Dubucjue's mines, in 
the morning, and arrived opposite the mouth of the River 
La Fievre. at evening, where we lay by to fish a little 
while, and aftervrards commenced floating. 

Tucsdcp/, 29 — At 10 o'clock last night there came on 
a violent thunder .-torm so that we were obliged to put 
into shore. It continued, witli short intervals of abate- 
ment, throudi most of the night. The liditniuLc 
appeared almost one continued blaze, and the thunder 
seemed to shake the earth to its centre, while the rain 
poured down in torrents. Our boat was in danger of 
filling from tlie vast quantity of rain that fell, so that we 
had frequent occasion to ])ail, in order to prevent her 
sinking. Stal led early this morning with a gentle breeze 
in our favor, which soon failed us, and was succeeded by 
a calm. Tlie scenery we have ]>assed to-day, although 
in many rc-pects it is far less interestinu' than many 
views fiu-ther up the river, yet has numberless beauties 



that give pleasure to the eye of the beholder, amongst 
which, precipices of red sand stone, fronting the river, 
are some of the most striking. They give to the blufTs 
a blushing appearance, which affords a very pleasing 
contrast when viewed in connection with the verdant 
attire in Avhich they are clad. Passed Apin Prairie a 
little before night where we had another view of the 
beautiful scenery of this part of the river. But the idea 
that this beautiful tract has for ages unfolded its charms 
with none to admire, but unfeeling savages, instead of 
having delighted thousands that were capable of enjoying 
them, casts a gloom upon the scenery, which added to 
the solemn stillness that everywhere prevails in these 
solitary regions, robs the mind of half its pleasure. 

Wedncsdaf/, 30. — The night was very fine and we 
floated about fifteen miles. This morning we passed 
Mer a Doge Prairie, before spoken of. Should there 
ever be occasion to station troQps above the head of La 
Hoche rapids, the first eligible position may be found on 
this prairie, as there are many positions, where a complete 
command of the river may be had, and troops stationed 
upon them, would not be exposed to the sudden anno}'- 
ance of an enemy, as there would be no defile, through 
which he could approach without being discovered. 
Descended the La Ptoche rapids, without much difiiculty, 
although the water was very low, and we had no one on 
board who was acquainted with the course of the 

Arrived at Fort Armstrong at about 12 o'clock. 
Thiirsdai/, 31. — Spent the day in reconnoitering the 
country about the fort. Took observations for the lati- 



tude of Fort Armstron'g, which I found to be 41° 32^33'' 

Fridafj^ Avfjv.d 1. — IJaving made the nccessnry sur- 
veys, I spent the day in plotting them and inaking a 
plan of the country adjacent to the site of Fort Arm- 
strong. The island on Avhich tlie fort is situated, is called 
Rock Island, from the circumstance of its being founded 
upon a rocky basis. It is situated immediately at the 
foot of La Eoche rapids, is about three miles in length, 
and of various breadths, not exceeding one mile in the 
broadest part. At the loAver extremity is the site of 
the fort, ovei'looking a large slieet of water, into whicli 
the Mississippi spreads immediately below, also exten- 
siA^e tracts of flat prairie situated on either side of the 
river within its valley. The valley is here about two 
miles wide, and is bounded on both sides by bluffs of 
gentle declivity, cut in many places by ravines of mode- 
rate depth. The ehevation of the country back of the 
bluffs or hills is generally about one hundred feet above 
the water level, that of the prairies within the valley 
eight or ten, and that of the site of the fort, which is 
nearly at an intermediate distance between the bluffs, is 
thirty-two feet. The general course of the river past 
the island is west, soutliwest. The width of the north 
channel is six hundred and forty yards; that of the 
south two hundred and seventy-five yards; and the 
width of the whole river immediately below the island 
is fourteen hundred yards, which is tlie average width 
for about one mile below. Four miles below the island. 
Rock river comes in from the northeast. Ui)on the 
point of laud situated between this river and the Missis- 



sippl above their coufliieiice, is an extensive level prairie 
Avitli a few scattering trees ; this also is in fall view from 
the fort. To the south of the lower end of Kock Island 
is another small island, annually subject to inundation, 
though suPilciently elevated to admit of cultivation in 
the summer season. It is separated from Rock Island 
by a very narrow slough. It is ninety-seven yards wide 
at its lower end, and tapers olT to a point about eight 
hundred 3^ards farther up. Immediately opposite to the 
fort on the south side of the river is a village of Fox 
Indians, containing about thirty cabins, with two fires 
each. The number of souls at this village is probably 
about five hundred. On Rock river, two miles above its 
mouth, and three across the point from Fort Armstrong, 
is a Sack village, consisting of about one hundred cabins, 
of tvv'o, three, and, in some instances, four Ares each. It 
is by f^'ir the largest Indian village situated in the neigh- 
borhood of the Mississippi between St. Louis and the 
Falls of St. Antiiony. The whole number of Indians at 
this village amounts probably to betvreen two and three 
thousand. Thev can furnish eiaht or nine hundred war- 
riors, all of them armed with riilcs or fusees. The In- 
dians of these two villages cultivate vast fields of corn, 
which are situated partly in the low ground and extend 
up the slopes of the bluffs. They have at present several 
hundred acres under improvement in this way. The 
soil of this part of tlie country is generally of an excel- 
lent quality, widl adopted to the cultivation of corn, grain, 
pulse, potatoes, llax, melons, etc. The natural growth 
consists ])rincipally of oak, black walnut, cherry, and 
hickory, allbrding excellent timber for building and other 


long's skiff vovage to Tiii: 

purposes. Hock Island itself farnislics an abundance of 
these articles, being altogether woodland, except the 
lower end of it, which was cleared for the accommoda- 
tion of the fort. The prairies yield an abundance of 
fine grass, and the country generally is well adapted for 
grazing. The country back of tlie river blufls is roHirg, 
and in some parts hill}', but is everywhere accessible by 
gentle ascents and declivities. The suri)ice of Rock 
Island is undulating, inclining to hilly in the upper 

The site of Fort Armstrong, in a militcary point of 
view, is eligible, in many respects, and at the same time 
has fewer objections than any other position that can be 
found on the Mississippi, from St. Louis to the river St. 
Peter's. Its advantages are, a healthful situation, an 
e{rectual command of tlie river and of the neighboring 
prairies to the full extent of cannon shot range, security 
from the attack of an enemy armed with anything less 
than heavy artillery, timber and limestone of a good 
quality and in great abundance, rich grounds for gardens 
situated immediately above the garrison, a copious spring 
of fine water issuing from the clifls a few rods above the 
site, etc. Its disadvantages are, a commanding rise ele- 
vated fifteen feet above the site, at the distance of two 
liundred yards in an easterly direction, which, if occupied 
by a suitable work, would bo an im])ortant advantage, 
as it AYOuld giv(^ to the place a more extensive command; 
rising ground to the northeast, at a distance of half a 
luile ; the river bluHs north-northwest, thirteen hundred, 
and those to the south sixteen hundred and fifty yards, 
from the site : the want of convenient harbor for 



boats in low water. These disadvantages, compared 
with ever}^ other position, I have seen iTpon the rivei- 
below the St. Peters, are of little weight in point of ob- 
jection. The advantages, in point of locality, are the 
facilities of communication either by land or water be- 
tween this and other important parts of the countiy. 
which will be inentioned in their proper place^ as also its 
central position in relation to the Indians. 

Saiurdai/, 2. — Took the dimensions of the fort and its 
buildings, and made a plan of them. The fort is situated 
immediately upon the lower extremity of Rock Island, 
at w^hich place the sliores are perpendicular cliffs of lime- 
stone thirty feet high. In som^e instances the cliffs pro- 
ject over their base, and even some parts of the fort 
overhang the water. The fort has two entire faces only, 
the other tvro sides being sufficiently fortified against an 
assault by the cliffs before mentioned. The east face 
commences immediately upon the top of the cliff, where 
there is a block house (No. 1) tw^o stories high and 
twenty-one feet square. The front upon this side is two 
hundred and seventy- seven feet, including a block house 
(No. 2) at the nortlieast corner of the fort, twenty-six 
feet square. The nortli face forms a right angle witli 
the east, and extends from block house No. 2 to the 
north channel of the river, where it is terminated by 
block house No. 3, of the same dimensions as No. I, 
presenting a front on this side of two hundred and 
eighty-eight feet. Both faces are flanked by block 
house No. 2, the other block liouses being placed in such 
a manner as to form a part of the front of the two fitces. 
The block houses are all two stories high, their second 



stories being placed diagonally upon the first. No. 2 
has also a basement story which is used as a store house. 
The faces are made up principally by the rear walls of 
the barracks and store house. They are about twenty 
feet high, and furnished with two rows of loopholes for 
muskets. The spaces between the buildings are fortified 
by walls of stone, about eight feet high, supporting a 
breast-work of timber five feet hidi. The buildinas 
ranged along tlie faces contain seven rooms, twenty 
feet square, upon each side; eiglit of which are occupied 
as soldiers' quarters, three as hospitals, two as store- 
houses, and one as guard house. On the south and 
Avest sides detached from other parts of the works, are 
situated tvro other buildings sixty-four feet long and 
sixteen wide, containing four rooms each, designed for 
officers' cjuarte.^. In the southwest corner is a tv\'o 
story building with low wings, designed as quarters for 
the commanding oHlcer, and offices for the use of the 
garrison. The body of the building is furnished with 
piazzas on both sides, and the whole combines a degree 
of taste and • elegance worthy of imitation at all other 
military posts in this ])art of the country. 

The works are constructed ]>rincipally of square timber, 
the lower part of the block houses, including lower embra- 
sures of stone. The magazine also is of stone, seven 
by ten feet in the clear, its walls four feet in thickness. 
Besides these there are a few of her buildings outside of 
the garrison, viz., a smith's sho]), suLtlcr's and contrac- 
tors stores, a stable, etc. 

The plan of defence is at present incomplete, there 
being three points Avhere an enemy might approach the 



garrison compk'tely under cover from the ^vorks. The 
first is at tlie lower i)oint of tlie island directly nnder 
the brow of the cliffs which stretch along that extremity 
in nearly a straight direction, one hundred and fifty yards 
from the fort, eastwardly. The second is the rise before 
mentioned, eastward of tlie fort, beyond vrhich there is 
a gentle declivity to the water s edge through an ex])and- 
ing valley. The third is a kind of bay situated just 
above a prominent part of the island, upon the north 
side, by which tlie fire from the fort into the bay would 
be obstructed. In this bay also is situated the spring 
before described, so that a command of this place is the 
more desirable on that account. 

To remedy the first defect, a water battery may be 
constructed, immediately at the point of the island, 
which will give a far more complete ccmmand of the 
river below than the present Avorks designed for that 
purpose, and at the same time its east face would com- 
pletely flank the cliffs in that direction. To obviate the 
second and third defects, the block houses. No. 1 and 
No. 3, might be removed, one on the commanding rise 
to the east, and the other on the eminence to the nortli 
of the garrison. These block houses in their present 
situation have no command that they would not have 
after being removed to the places proposed ; and whicre 
they now stand a breast work would be a far better 
substitute. No. 3, particularly, is badly situated; it 
projects considerably over the water and is partly 
supported by wooden props, so that should tlie river 
continue to undermine the bank, there would be groat 
danger of its being precipitated into the water. 


long's skiff voyage to thk 

Ilaving completed my ])l;in8, we rc-enibarkecl at 3 r. m. 
to descend the river. Passed Rock liiver four miles 
below the Fort. This river in high water is navigable 
about three hundred miles to what arc called the Four 
Lakes, but in its present stage, which is the usual 
height at this season of the year, it is witli great difficulty 
that a canoe can ascend it even three or four miles. 
There are numerous rapids which make their appeai-ance 
in various parts of the river when the water is low, but 
at other times there are none ])erceptible throughout the 
above mentioned distance. The Indians residing upon 
this river, beside the Sack village before mentioned, are 
principally AYinnebagoes, with some few of the loways 
and Fol avoins, most of whom have their residence in 
the neighborhood of the Four Lakes. Between the 
head waters of Rock River and those of Lake Michigan, 
is a portage of moderate extent through which some 
trade is carried on with tlie Indians. 

At evening, when we had got twenty miles from the 
Fort, I discovered that I had left my sextant, which 
made it necessary for us to encamp for the night in 
order to send a man back for it in the mornin^:, as it 
w^ould 1)0 impossible for me to take observations for the 
latitude without it. 

Siimla?/, 3. — Dispatched a man fn- the sextant eaily 
this morning, with orders to return to Fort Edwards, 
either in tlie contractor s boat which is daily expected 
down, or in the express boat which nuist come in a few 
days to Foi't Edwards. Started a little after sunrise. 
The wind strong ahead all day. Encamped at the east 
side at tlie Red Banks, the wind bcincr too stronir to 
admit of n'\ah*ng. 



Monday. 4. — Started rit an early liour. "Went on shore 
in the afternoon to revisit the ruins of Fort Madison. 
There was nothino: but old chimnevs left standin<r, and 
a covert v^'ay leading from the main garrison to an 
elevated grouiul in the rear, upon which there was some 
kind of an outwork. The covert way was fortified with 
palisades only. There were a number of fruit trees also 
standing upon the ground formerly occupied as a garden, 
amongst which were the peach, the nectarine and the 
apple tree. 

Descended the Eapids De Moin a little before sunset, 
but as none of us was acquainted with the channel, and 
the water very low, we ran foul of rocks a number of 
times, which occasioned a leak in our boat, so that we 
had to keep a man constantly bailing, to prevent her 
filling with water. Arrived at Fort Edwards about dark, 
the men verv much faticrued with rowinor and crettina" the 
boat across the rapids. 

Tuesday^ 5. — Gave the men an opportunity to rest 
themselves, while I took an excursion on foot about the 

Wednesday, G. — Concluded to ascend the rapids again, 
and take a short tour in the country above. In this 
excursion I was joined b}' Dr. Lane and Capt. Calhoun. 
Having a fair wind, wo set sail about 11 a. m. but after 
passing half way up the rapids, the wind failed us, and 
we had recourse to rowin-j. Ascended within four miles 
of the head of tlie rapids, and encamped for the night. 

Thursday, 7. — Started early and arrived at the head 
of the Eapids, at Ewing's plantation, (formerly known 
by the name of the United States' Agricultural Jvstahlisli- 


long's .skiff vovagk to thl: 

ment) at hrJf past S o'clock. Here Ave brcaknisted and 
as tlic wind Avas strong alicad, concluded to leave the 
boat and travel on foot further np. The two gentlemen 
before mentioned, myself and two soldiers, made up the 
party. We accoutcred ourselves with rifleS; ammunition 
and two days' su]>])ly of ])rovisions, having a pack horse 
Avliich was sent up for the purpose, to convey cur bag- 
gage. AYe pursued the course of the river, on the east 
side, about twenty miles, to a prairie a little above Fort 
Madison. We then turned to the ridit, and travelled 
due east about six miles, when Ave encamped for the 
night near a small creek running north. Near the place 
of our encampment ol)served a tree marked by the 
surA'eyors as folloAvs, 11. 7 N. T. 7 W. S. 9, being the 
corner bound, of one of the towns recently surveyed in 
this part of the country. The country in a direction due 
east from the river, in this |)lace, is considerably broken, 
being interrupted by numerous Avater courses and ravines. 
But the season being unusually dry few of them con- 
tained jiny Avater at the time avc Avere there. 

Fridau^ S. — Started about sunrise and travelled about 
S. W., and came upcui an extensive prairie, about two 
miles from the }>]ace of our encam})ment. We had not 
proceeded fir Avlien. we struck upon an Indian trail, lead- 
ing nearly in tlie direction we contemplated to take, viz. 
W. S. W. We accordingly pursued it fifteen miles, and 
arrived at our boat about VI o'clock. The Avhole of this 
dista.nce lay tiirough an extensive pi'airie, cutting oif but 
a very small fraction of it. This vast tract of level 
country occup!<'- mn>t of tlie <\)\\('{\ included between the 
Mississippi and llh'nois, commencing at Hock River on the 


former, and Fox llivcr on the latter, and extending 
clownvv'ard nearly to the junction of the two. 

After dininp; "sve commenced descendino: the river 
again. Passed the Eapids with less diliiculty than 
before. Killed a pelican. Stopped awhile at the foot 
of the rapids to examine the stratifications whicli we 
found of a similar character with those nenerallv alomr 
the Mississippi. While we were engaged in this exami- 
nation one of the men foand a hive of bees, which they 
soon took and found in it about two gallons of honey. 
Arrived at the garrison about 5 p. m. 

Saturday ^ 9. — Spent the day in sketching the country 
about Fort Edwards, the garrison, etc. Fort Edwards is 
situated on the east siile of the Mississippi three miles 
below the foot of De Moyen Hapids. The Mississippi 
at this place is about one thousand four hundred yards 
wide ; the main channel is on the west side ; the passage 
on the east, particularly in low water, is obstructed by 
sand-bars. Directly opposite to the Fort are two islands, 
dividing the De Moyen, which comes in on the west at 
this place, into three mouths. About one mile above 
the Fort, on the same side of the river, is an island of 
considerable extent. The bluffs at this place, approach 
immediately to the water's edge, on the east, but on tlie 
west are separated from the river by an extensive tract 
of bottom land, covered witli a fine growth of cotton- 
wood, sycamore, and bladv walnut. The site of the 
Fort is elevated one hundred feet above low water mark. 
Its distance horizontally from the river is about sixty 
yards. At the distance of half a mile from the Fort, in 
a S. W. direction, is the site of Cantonment Davis, Avhich 


i/)Nn's SKTKF vovAc;]': to tiih 

has been abandoned since the erection of Fort Edwards. 
The country situated between the two sites is cut by 
deep ravines, which have meandering courses and ap- 
proach in some phices within musket shot range from 
both sites. To the N. E, of Fort Edwards is a command- 
ing height at the distance of six hundred yards, separa- 
ted from the site of the Fort by a broad ravine, and 
elevated fifty feet above it, or one hundred and fift}' 
feet above the river. The country adjacent to the Fort 
to the eastward and N. E. is considerably broken and 
abounds in ravines. Southeastwardly of the Fort the 
country has nearly the same level as the site on which 
it is built. The ground generally in the neighborhood 
is covered with a scattering growth of hickory, oak, and 
walnut; the hill to the N. E. however is covered with 
deep woods. In regard to the military character of the 
place, many objections present themselves. 1st. No 
effectual command of either river can be had, not only 
on account of the great width of the Mississippi, but 
also, a slougli leading to the west of the river from which 
it is separated by an island about one mile wide, and 
communicating with the ]Mississippi at tlie distance of 
of one mile beh^w, and one and one-half miles above, the 
site of the garrison. Through this slough the De Moyen 
discharges its waters and boats may pass with facility in 
time of high water. 2d. The ravine before mentioned 
would facilitate the ap})roach of an enemy to within a 
musket shot range of the garrison, completely under 
cover from its f:re. 3rd. The commanding height to 
the iSy . E. would render the ])osition untenable though 
ever so strongly lortified, provided an enemy should 



occupy it v.'ith ordnance of moderate calibre. 4th. From 
the situation of the place no important end can be an- 
swered by keeping up a garrison at it, except perhaps in 
time of actual warfare with the Indians. The only 
object that presents itself in this point of view, is its 
proximity to the rapids above, and the protection that 
might be aflbrded by the garrison to supplies, stores^ 
etc., in their passage up the rapids. But in this respect 
no advantage would be derived from a pi^arrison at this 
phice more tiian at any other upon the river, provided 
transports of every kind are conveyed up and down the 
river in their proper season, viz., from the 1st of April to 
the middle of June, when there is always a sufficient 
depth of water to pass the rapids, with a current but 
little more accelerated than is to be met with in other 
parts of the river. 

The distance from this place to Fort Clark on the 
Illinois is about seventy-five miles, across a level tract 
of prairie country, and about one hundred and twenty 
to Fort Osage on the Missouri, across a level country, 
principally prairie. In the neighborhood of rivers 
and creeks, in this direction, the country is somewhat 

Fort Edwards is a palisade work constructed entirely 
of square timber. It is intended to contain two block 
houses, situated in the alternate angles of the Fort; a 
magazine of stone : barracks for the accommodation of 
one company of soldiers ; oillcers' quarters ; hospital ; 
store-rooms, etc.; all to he constructed m a sim|)lo but 
neat style, but on a scale too contracted for comfortable 
acconimodation^. The works are in such a state of for- 



^vavdnes.s tluit tlioy ^vill pro]»ab]y bo nearly completed 
this season. Tlic magazine is still to be built, as are 
also the oflicers' quarters, hospital, etc. They have been 
Avholly executed by the soldiery stationed there since 
June, 181 G. 

Sundai/. 10. — Had to finish my i)lans of Fort Edwards 
and the adjacent countr}^, and make preparations for re- 
suming niy voyage. I yesterday took an observation 
for the latitude of the ])lace, and found the meridian 
altitude of the sun's lower limb to be G5° 12' 40". 

JSlGnday^ 11. — Started at half-past G a. m. in company 
with Dr. Lane, to ascend the river De Moyen a few 
miles. We entered at its lowermost mouth, passed the 
middle, which at tliis time had no water passing through 
it, and ascended about two miles to the nppermosl, 
through which is tlie principal discharge of the De 
Moyen iii low water. We ascended the river about 
three miles higher, where the channel was completely 
obstructed by sand bars, aHording not .even a sufiiciency 
of water for the navigation of the smallest canoes. The 
water in tlie river, however, was at this time unusually 
low. ]N"evertheless, there is seldom a sufiiciency of water 
at this season of the year to admit boats to ascend vcrv 
far. In the spring of the year dee]) floods usually pre- 
vail in the river, which render it navigable for Mackinaw 
•boats one hundred aiid sixty or two hundred miles. 

The river is about one hundred and twenty yards 
wide near its confluence with the ^lississippi. Its upper 
mouth afibrds a considerable depth of water in all btages, 
but the cliannel is nariow and crooked, and almost 
blocked up in many places by drift wood, snags, and 


ScWyers. The passage by the lower mouths is much 
broader, but obstructed in many pLaces by sand bars that 
are impassable in low water. The principal part of the 
loway Indians reside up this river, at the distance of 
about one hundred and twenty miles from its mouth. 

Observed many fragments of coal, apparently of a 
good equality, scattered upon the sand bars in this river. 

Returned about twelve. Dined and took my leave 
of Dr. Lane, and Captain Ramsay, commanding officer 
of the garrison. To Dr. Lane in particular I feel much 
indebted for his politeness and attention. Captain Cal- 
houn was about to take his departure, on a visit to his 
friends, and I invited him to take a passage to Belle 
Fontaine in my boat, wuth which he complied. AYe 
started at 2 p. m., the w^ind ahead. Met several canoes 
of Lidians. 

Tuesday^ 12. — Floated till one at night, when we were 
compelled to lay by on account of an unfavorable wind 
accompanied with rain. Started again at sunrise. A 
favorable wind sprang up at 1 r. M., and vrc were able to 
sail the rest of the day. 

Wcdncsdaf/^ 13 — Floated all night, and arrived at 
]3arr's Tavern early in the morning. Were able to sail 
jnost of the day moderately. Arrived at Little Cape 
Gris about dark, and encamped. 

Tliursdau, 14. — Captain Calhoun, myself, and one of 
the men, took an excursion across the country tin's morn- 
ing, and went in sight of the shores of the Illinois. In- 
dependent of the bluJls, there is a ridge of land elevated 
about eighteen feet above the water level, extendiiu'- 
from the Mississippi to the Illinois. The distance be- 


long's skiff voyage to the 

tween the two rivers along this ridge is about four and ca 
half miles. Tlie blulfs of the two rivers meet each other 
at the distance of about one mile in rear of the rid2:e, 
being a succession of knobs forming an extensive curve 
between the two rivers. The soil is of a good quality, 
inclining to sandy in some places. Growth principally 
oak, hickory, black and white walnut, sycamore, cotton- 
wood, persimmon, and pawpav/. Upon the point below 
the ridge is a large prairie extending to the Illinois. There 
are five settlements at this place, including two imme- 
diately upon the Mississippi at Little Cape Gris. Started 
at half-past eight. Weather rainy. Called at Portage 
de Sioux. Arrived at the mouth of the Missouri about 
6 p. M., and ascended it half a mile, where we encamped 
for the night. 

Friday^ 15. — Arrived at Belle Fontaine at nine in the 
morning, all in good health. Three of my men had ex- 
perienced a short illness of one day each, having been 
attacked with the fever and ague. But by a seasonable 
application of remedies neither of them had a return of 
the chill. The mode of treatnu^nt I adopted towards 
them w\as to administer a cathartic of calomel and jalap 
soon after the shake or chill was off and the next day, 
sometime before the return of the fever w\as expected, 
require the patient to take freely of wine and bark, 
which invariably had the desired eflect. 

The time occupied in the voyage was seventy-six 



Latiliide in the Mississippi, li miles above the mouth 
of the St. Peter's, 45^^ ? S". 

Latitude at Prairie du Chien, 43° 7'; by a huiar ob- 
servation, 43° G' 14''. 

Fort Armstrong, Rock Island, 41° 2? 29". 

At Fort Edwards, De Moyen, 40° 22' 19". 

At the Wisconsin Portage, 44°. 

NoTr.— lu coascqupnco of the distorlion 
fiuispil l,y Hic inotliod of iirojoction employoJ, ' 
»li^t:uu"os cannot he Tnt;a>*uie(l on this as on 
on'.iuary maps. 


After the Journal had been printed, A. J. Hill; Esq., 
an accurate and accomplished Civil Engineer, forwarded 
a compiled itinerancy of Major Long s tour, and a map 
illustrative of the same. It is with great pleasure that 
we append the correspondence, map and annotations 
of Mr. Hill. 

E. D. N. 

Saiiii Paul, October 15, 1860. 



Saint Paul^ Minnesota. 
Sepicmher 29, 18G0. 

Rev. E. D. Neill, 

Sec. Minnesota Historical Societj, 

DeaPv Sill : — I herewith liavc the pleasure to enclose 
for your use, a compiled iutincrary of Major Long's tour 
of 1817, and a diagram to illustrate the same; and 
trust they will be received in proper time. The delay 
in the transmission of these papers arose from the fact 
of my having for the last five days been busily engaged 
in writing for Col. Ilobertson. Enclosed is a memoran- 
dum containing a few topographical annotations some of 
which may be suggestive if not literally used 

A few words arc necessary as to the map. After 
considerable thought, I concluded that an ordinarily 
projected map of the river would be of very little 
ornament or use to tlie book, from the necessarily small 
scale recpiircd to comprise the tract of country in 
question within a page of the size of your history, and 
that the system of projection technically called ^'isome- 
trical" — which allows of considerable foreshortening — 
might be employed to advantage, as not so much a map 
as a sketch or diagram, conspcctes") is needed for 
such a work. Should you conclude to have it engraved, 
I would rcs|)ectfully suggest that it may be done so in 
its integrity and without any modcrni?:ation or additions 
as respects names or town-sites, my idea being to make 
only such a sketch as might have been made by INInjor 
Long himstdf at tlie time, except that I have corrected 
his mean«krings l»y the United Slates Land Surveys. If 
engraved I will gladly inspect a jji-oof, if sent (2 coi)ies) 
to me at lied Vv^ing, and return promptly witli remarks. 



On the sheet of ^' errata" famished was one altered 
immhcr whicli I could not at the time find for your 
inspection, so I liave traced it on the corner of the 
enclosed diagram ; it most probahh^ is ** 50," if necessary 
a foot note might speak of its ambiguity, 

Next Monday I leave St. Paul for Eed Wing. 
I remain, Sir, very respectfully 

Your obedient servant, 

Alfred J. Hill. 



The ^''highest liill" is situated at the present village 
of Richmond in Winona County ; its height above the 
level of the water "was as certained by Nicollet to be 
531 feet. 

Prarie Aux Ailes village, on the site of the present 

Grand Encampment on Cypress Prairie, tlie present 

In ascending the river immediately alone, Lake Pepin, 
Long kept to the middle and northern channels, which 
accounts for his not mentioning Barn Bluff here. 

Narrowest place in the river," the present Hastings. 

Detour de Pin, now Pine Bend. 

Petit Corbeau s village, afterwards Pig's Eye. 

Ileiglit of Barn Blufl' according to Nicollet above 
water 322 feet. Owens about 350." Bed Wing 
Cily Survey (1850) ^^345^ feet above the level of the 
low water." 

Tahlc of disknicrs on the Jlississi'ppi J2ivcr froni Pmirie dit Chicn- 
(^Fort Crawford) to the Falls of tSalut Anthony/. 

T-\\m-K\cA by Actmr/lins to the 
Vaj. huns in 1^17. U. S. L:in<l Sui vtvs. 
(Mi!>\^.) (Miles.) • 




1 Inter- 1 


•om Fort Cnnvfurd to the nioutli of the Upper 

1 1 


Iowa J liver, ...... 


p 1 1 

{ ^^1 1 

J ) 1 
-1 . , 


mouth of Upijcr Iowa Ilivcr to mouth of 

Bad Axe River, ..... 

^lo ., 

4 A- 

6 J 


mouth of Bad Axe Biver to mouth of 

Eaccoou Creek, ..... 





moutli of Baccoon Creek to mouth of Boot 

Biver, ....... 


I Oo 



D i 


mouth of Boot Biver to mouth of La Crosse 







mouth of La Crosse Creek to lower mouth 

of Bhick Biver 

1 1 




lower mouth of BUick Biver to upper mouth 

of Black Biver, ..... 



1 9 

1 4 


upper mouth of Black Biver to Trempealeau 

Mouritain, ...... 





Trempealeau Mountain to Prairie aux Ailes 



i 1 y .J 




Prairie aux Ailes Village to P^agle Cape, . 

1 22 J 

r^l ■ 

C) 1. 


Eagle Cape to mouths of J'-mbarras and 

Clear Water Bivers, (united.) . 

1 4 

1 .)' 




mouth of Enibarras, kc.^ Pavers to mouth 

of BulTalo Biver, ..... 

^ 1 Q 1 

i Z v 





mouth of Buffalo Biver to Grand Encamp., 
Grand Encamimient to mouth of Cliijipcwa 


1 1 a| 


1 t> -T 





mouth of Chippewa liiver to outlet of Lake 

Pepin, ....... 




1 23.1 


outlet of Lake IVpin to Lovers' Leap, 


1 T3 

11 1- 



Lovers' Leap to Lulian ]Cucanii»meut on 

Sandy Point on left; .... 


i i -i 


1 3G 


Sandy Point to inlet of Lake, niidtllo chan- 




i 00 j 



inlet of Lake to opposite nx.'Uth of Cannon 

River, ....... 



1 r A 1 



opposite mouth of Cuunou Ivivor to the 

'•Grand Lddy,-' . . . • 

] 1. 

i. JU 

1 1 
1 2 



the Grand Eddy to the mouth of Lake St. 

Croix, ....... 

1 Q 

I o 



1 68.1 


mouth of Lake St. Croix to tiic " narrowest 

place in the river,'" 

! ^-2 




''narrowest place to Dctnur de Pin |^^Piue 


t 1 '> I 





Detour de Pin to vilhi;/e i-f Pt til Ctyrl-eau, 

1 i;;^ 

243 J. 

1 in 



Village of I'etit Corlie. u t.- C.u vi.r's Cave, 




Carver's; Cave to rouut.ii:i Car, 

i a 




Fountnin Cave to mouth <i, I'i;tcr'.? Biver. 



•>ni i> 


mouth of St. Peter's iviv(r to roniini.-n'.e- 

- - - .4 

mcnt of rapids, ■ • . . . 

2 5 T .1 

' J' 

1 2031 


commenefuiviit of rap: ".s lo ir.cjiuii of creek 


OTi right hand, ..... 



! G 



mouth of creek to tliu fool of the Fall^i of 

St. Anthony, 

i 1 


! I 




Mils' SOT A 



ST. PAl'L: 













«»■• — 

l!i;\i;V M. HICK St. Piiul. 

l>. A. laMU-KTSOX 

1». \V. INtiKRSoLI 

i;r>sKLL i;lakkij:y 


ri:i i:K bkukkv 

»N v. .lolix M ATT()("K> 

i:. V. V. Mc.ViASTKPvS, D.l).. LL D 

A. U. CATllCAllT 


v. i;. DKAX " 


•'"!IX McKL'SICK Stillwater. 

'■. A. WAKXKIJ Cliayka. 

.\. Til AT('in:ii Zumbrota. 

!^ SIlKinVODO Elkhorn. 

'A!n:i) liKXSOX Anoka. 

•'"ilN" M. I5F.IUJV Faribault. 

I' Nf'^inJISOX Minneapolis. 

>• XoirroX Winona. 

r s. \(»r>rAX " 

A. Wl.^WKLL Garden City. 

> l.l'.TKOin* Carver. 

^•'--I'V miJ Clcncoe. 

^- ^^ViFT St. IVter. 


i*Hgo 10, Wcpasliaw shuulJ read "Wapasiiaw. 
" 12, r>ois(iuiHot Boisguillot, 
' • 10, Lcgardour St. Piorao should ivad ?t. IMorrr^. 
" 2^, Indian refiK'ee should read Italian rofugoo. 

32, Farribault " Faribault. 

33, May 2n, 1&!32, ifay 26, 1820. 

; • 48, Perront sliould read Perront, and Paraut should read Parairlu 
V. " u3, Bishoi*. Lozfts should read Lora-s. 






lion. 11. M. nice, President of the Minnesota Historical 
jSocict)/ : 

Sir : Your committee, under instruction from the Executive 
Council of the Society, to collect and prepare for publication such 
]>apcrs as it might judge valuable, as material for tlic f Uure histo- 
rian, beg leave to present the following contributions from the pen 
of the Rev. E. D. Xzill, former Secretary of the Society, now 
resident in "Washington city : 

1st. — " Occurrences ix and around Fort Snelling from 
1S19 TO 1840." 

2nd. — *' Early French Forts and Footprints of the Val- 
ley OF the Upper 3Iississippi." 

The former comes to us fresh from the pen of Mr. Xeill, and 
has never, before, seen the light. The latter appeared in the 
Ai)ril number of the U. S. Service Jlagazine^ but is thought none 
the less valuable as material for history, from its having appeared 

To these your committee beg leave to subjoin one cha}>ter from 
the unpublished IMSS. of the late lamented James W. Lynd, for- 
"lerly an honored citizen of this State. 

The following extract from Heard's History of the Sioux 
Massacre of 18G'2," will indicate his lamented end. On August 

VI I r. 


17, 18G2, ''The first ><hot was fii-ed at Myrick's store, in the upj^-r i 
part of tlie town of IJcdwootl, between six and seven oV-loek in 
the morning, James W. Lyxd was the first victim. lie was 
standing in the door and saw them coming. One of the mui derers 
cried out just before lie shot, ' Now 1 will kill the dog who 
would't give me credit.' Mr. Lyxd was a clerk in the stoi'e. lie j 
had been a member of the State Senate, and was possessed <>i' \ 
fine literary attainments.'' 

All of which is respectfully submitted. 


Committee of Pablication. 




Otiiecrs of tlio :uiiiy, wliou <tati(juc'tl ut Fort SncDiiiLi", >•<) 1)ul(lly 
situated on :i i>roiijoiitorv of saccliiiroid saiidstoiii.' at the coiitiu- 
C'ucc of tlie ^Minnesota and ^lississi[>|)i, or on duty at tlie nio-r 
secluded posts Fui-ts IJipley and liidgk'V, in lookiuLi" at llie ic ality 
on Nicollet's nia[> marked ''Ivuiiis of French Fort,'* liave, wirh 
the writer, no dou1)t, often wishc*] there were some works in tht- 
Fnglish language imparting information concerning tin- oltl French 
rt'ffJnie in that i-egion. After a diligent search wc liavc gathered 
a few facts, which are woven into an essay. 

One of the most ]>ictnrcs(iue scci'.cs in North Anierica ks the 
approach to Lake l\'pir.. Fo»* mik's the steamboat ascending ttic 
^Iissi>;si[>pi glides through an extended vistn, crowned in the 
distance by an amphitheatre of hills wliieh detine the hasin of tlu- 

In the sunnner the islands of the rivci", luxuriant v. i(h vegeta- 
tion, and the hanks flanked Ijy abrupt blutls of limestone, with 
<H'dar ti-ees standing like sentinels wlierever rootdiold can be 
found, n'lake an impression w hich the tra\ ellci" cannot erase in a 

< )ecasiunally these stee[> w alls of stone i-ecede, with tlieir fanci- 
tul outline of rattles and battlen\ents, ami prairies sntlieiently 



t'lcvatcd to be si'ciuo tVom the iiiuiHlatioiis ot' s^trinsi, a|»]»o:ir, w liic') 
were I'liticin;^ sjjots to thv jmc'R'iit roi/or/eur -M'tcv ;i Ioult .'iikI 
\vc':iris()iiu' (Imv's jiniLUc in liis iVnil canoe. 

Just below Lake Pepin, on the w est sliore, opposite tlie in«>nt]i 
of the C'liippeway rivrr, is one of tliese beautiful jilatcatis, whidi 
ea])tivate(l Nicholas Perrot, a native of ('ana«la. who ha<l been 
familiar li-on) chihlhood with the customs and dialects of North- 
western savaij^es, and who liad l>een commissioned by the (Joverno)- 
of Canada as commandant of the West. 

Near the site of the ]>resent village of W«.'pa-haw, with twenty 
otlier l>old sjiirits, lie lande»l in the yeai- 1G83, and erectc<l a ] udc 
log foit — the first Eurojtean structure m that vast region — a 
generation before New Oi'leans, two thousand miles lowej- dow n 
on tlie same river, was founded. 

This primitive establislmient, within the limits of the new State 
of ^f innesota, on some of the old maps is appropriately marked as 
Fort Perrot. During the winter of 1GS3-S4, the party proceeded 
to visit the Sioux above the lake, but were met by a lai-ge 
delegation descending on the ice, who returned, and escorted the 
Frenchmen to their villages. 

In 1685 it became i\ecessary for Perrot to visit the IMiamis, to' 
engage them as allies against the English and Iroquois of New 
York. On his return from tliis mission he was informed by a 
friendly Indian that the Foxes, Kiekapoos, Maskoutens. and other 
tribes had formed a jdan to surround and surprise the fort ami 
employ the munitions of war against their enemies the Sioux. 

With ail possible s])eed the commander came back; and on the 
very day of his arrival three sjfies had preceded him, and obtaine<l 
a<lmission under the ]>retext of selling beaver skins; and they had 
now left, and re})orted that Perrot was absent and that the fort 
was only guarded by six I'renchmeu. The next day, two addi- 
tional spies came; but Perrot, in view of liis danger, devised an 
ingenious stratagem. In front of the doors of the buildings, on 
the open square within the enclosure, he ordered all the guns to 
be loaded and stacked, and then the Frenchmen were made to 
<diange their di'ess after certain intervals, and stand near the guns; 



and thus ho coiivevt'J the ini^trossioji that he ha<l many mow nu-n 
than tht' s}»ics ]ia<l ol.xcrvC'l. Alter lhi> <li>};lay tlic s}i*n.'> wvrv 
jK-nnittcd to depart on ctHidition that they would send iVoin their 
camp a cliiof trom eaeli trihe represented. Six i-espt»n<led to tlie 
demand ; and as tliey i-ntered the gates tlicir bows and arrow- 
were taken away, Lr»')kinLi" at tlie loaded Li"uns. the chirt's asked 
Fcrrot ''ifhe was afraid oi* his children.'' 

lie i\'plied. that he did not trouble himself about thon. and 
that he was a man w lio knew how to kill." 

" It scem.s," they eontinued, tliat you are displeasetb'" 
T am not." answered Ferrot, " althouLrii J have Liood reason 
to be. The Good Spirit lias warned me r»f your evil de>iL:n-, 
You wish to steal my things^ murder me, ami then Li"<» to 
against the Xadouei^^sioux. lie teid me to be on my uuar<l. and 
that he would aid if you gave any insult." 

Astonished at his knowledge of their pertidy. they coid'essed 
the whole l>lot, and sued for pardon. That night they slept within 
the foi-t ; and the next moridng their friends began to approach 
witli the war-whoop. Peirot, with the tifteeu men under Ids 
command, instantl}' seized the chiefs, and declared they would 
kill them if they did not make the Indians retire. 

Accordingly, one cd" the (dnefs climbed on to the top of the 
gate, and cried out. *' Do not advance, young men, or you w ill be 
dead men. The Spirit has told ^Metaminens [the name b\' which 
tliey designated Perrotj our designs.'' 

The Indians raj/idly lell back after this amiouncement, and the 
cidefs were allowed to leave the fort. 

In the yc-ar 1G87 Perrot. Du Luth, and Chevalier Tonti caim- 
to Niagara, with allies, and \inite«l ^vith Denon\ ille in makino- a 
r.-iid upon the Seneca> of the Genesee Valh-y — w hieh pro\ ed 

^Vfter this Governor Deuonvillc, of Canada, fuini-hed Perrot 
\\ ith :i comjj.iny of forty men for the purpose of a second exjiedi- 
tion to (he l'pp<'r Mississippi. Early in the sprinu; of IG^s Uu-y 
luid again rea^-hed Port Perrot; and as soon ,*is the ice dispju-ared 
ii'om L;tke l\'[>in the Sioux, came down, and persuaded l\rioi to 



usccikI :in«l vi>it tliein in tlieir villages. His reception was most 
flatteriiiL'. Placed on a beaver robe, lie was carried, aini<I 
triumphal sonars, to the lodir<^ of the cliief. 

While Perrot went to Xew York, one of tlie Sioux chiefs, m iih 
a hundred followers, attacked tlie fort; but the nation dischiime«l 
the act, and jrunished the per])etrators. As Perrot was about to 
depart, a Frc-ncli trader stated that he had lost a package. To 
discover the lost i^oods the foUowini^ scheme was devised. The 
commander or<lerinix one of his men to brin<2: a cu]> of water, but 
really filled with brandy, he told the Indians tliat if the lo>t 
aiticles were not ]n-oduced he M'ould dry up their swamps and 
hiding ]»lace>, and then immediately set on fire tliC brandy in the 
cup. The Sioux, terrified by M hat seemed to be the burning of 
Avater, an-l believing that lie might set even a river on fire, organ- 
ized themselves as detectives, and quickly found the missing 

In 10S9 Pei-rot returned to Green ]>ay, in Wisconsin, and thei'c 
made a formal minute of his action as an ofiiccr duly deputed to 
establish fiiendly and commercial relations with the Sioux of 
3Iinnesota. The proces-verl^al" is as follows: 

"Nicholas Perrot, commanding for the king at tlie post of the 
Xadouessioux, commissioned by the Marquis Denonville, Govern- 
or and Lieutenant-(TOvernor of all Xew France, to manage the 
interests of commerce among all the Indian tribes and peojtle of 
the Bay des Puants, Xa<louessioux, Mascoutiiis, and other western 
nations of the Upi)cr. Mississi})pi, and to take ])ossession in the 
king's name. (»f all the ])laccs M"hei-e he has heretofore been, an<l 
whither lie m IU go : 

" AVe this day, the eighth dayof ]\[ay, one thousand six hundred 
and eighty-nine, do, in the presence of the Ivcv. Father barest, 
of the Society of Jesus, missionary among the Xadouessioux; of 
3Ionsieur Bois<{uillot, commanding the French in the iieighbor- 
liood of the Ouiskonche on the ^Mississippi ; Augustin Legardeur. 
Esq., Sieui" du Caumont, and of ^NFessieurs Le Sueur, Ilebert, 
Lemire, and r»lein, 

''Declare, to idl whom it may concern, that being come from 


tlio ]):iy tlt's Pu;\!its, niul to the Luke ot' tlic; Ouiskonc-ljcs, nnd to 
{]\v riwv ]Mississi|.]»i, we did trans])ort oursc'lve> to llie count rv ot* 
the Xadouessioiix, on tlie hoi'der f»l* tliC ri\er Saint Croix, and at 
the moutli ot' the river Saint "Pierre, on the hank of wliieh were 
tlie ^Nfautantans ; and further up to the interior, to tl»e northeast 
of tlie ]\Iississi]»)ii, as far as tlie Mcneliokatoux, witli wlioni dwell 
the inajority of the Suiejeskitons, and other Xadouessiou.x, who 
are to tlie northeast of the ^Mississippi, to take ])ossessi<)n, for and 
in tlie name of the kin<i, of the countries and rivers inhabited by 
said tribes, and of which they are i)roprietors." 

To this i-ej>ort ai-e attache(l tlie signatures of the witnesses. 

Xot withstandini; Perrot had so thorouirhly examined this 
refrion, in the year 1703 La liontan, with unblushing etlVontery, 
piddished a book (d' ti avels, in which he claims to have explored 
a cei tain long I'iver, n.'ar the head of Lake Pepin, on the banks of 
which lived many wonderful tribes. lie asserts that he entered 
this tributary on the -id of November, 1088, and ascended in a 
canoe day by day until near Christmas — forgetting that eanoe- 
navigati'ju, aftei" the mi<ldle of December would be impossible, as 
the rivers wouhl be frozen. 

Although ]>ob'), a learned ])riest at Versailles, wrote to De 
I/Isle, the geograjthei" of the Academy of Sciences, as eai-Iy as 
171C, in thes(» words. Would it not be well to efface that great 
river which La ]I(»ntan says he discovere<l ? All the Canadians, 
and even the ( Tovernor-General, have told me that this river is 
unknown,"* yet lor nearly half a century there appeared on the 
ma]>s of .Vmerica, in the atlases of ]Curope, the Long Piver, 
compared with which the .Vma/.on was dimin\itive. 

Charlevoix', the distinguished a?id gen«'rally accurate historian 
of New France, sj>eaks of La Ilontan's alleged discovery " as 
fabulous as the Isle Parrataria, of which Sancdio Panza was made 
governor;'' yet, a century later, the distinguished astronomer, 
Nicollet, is compl.'tely misled, and, in a rep<»i-t to the Congrcx of 
the United States, sa\ s,^' J Living procure<l a copy of La Ilon- 
':nr.s book, in which there is a roughly-made map of his l(.>iig 
?iver, I was struck with the resemblance of its course, as laid 

1-i cof.i.ix Ti<.»\s or iiii: 

down, tli:it of Cnmion irivcr, u liicli T li;nl i»r(.-viousl\ >kftcli( il 

in niy ru'Id-bouk/' 

III 1000 l\Tr(>t visited Alciitix-nl, ami, aftCM- :i l»ri«.t' stay. 
iVturiKMl to tlic \Ve>t- l>ut, in cim-iMiueiicc of the Iiosiilt' fceliiiL:- 
of tlic Fox TiK.liaiis, it hccanio mi^afc to travi-l tliroucili tlic vallt }' 
of the AVisconsiii ; and tluM-cforc Siu-iir. who li.-id lici'ii seM i-.-il 
times; in tlie Far ^\'est since ](JS;s was dcspatelted to Fa Pointc. 
towards tlic liead of Fake h^uperior. to maintain }>eaee between 
tlic Sioux and Ojibways, and thus keep oi)en the Hois Frnle and 
St. Cr<-»iN: Fivers and liave ingin^^s to ilie valley of tlie .Mississippi. 

On tlie west side of the ehannci (»f the ^NFississippi, between 
Ftdce Fe[<in an<l St. (.'roix, there is a e^>ntinuous chain of i>land> : 
and on one of these, ten or twelve miK-s from the modern t;>wn of 
IlastinLi-s, there is a small prairie. Easily acees.«iible with eanoes, 
yet retii-ed, it was the sp>ot selected by Fe Sueur l\>i- the second 
French post in ^Minnesota. Here, in 1005, by the ordej- of Fron- 
tenac. he erected a fort, as a bai-rier to hostile tril.>es. Charlevoix. 
aUndinp,- to it, says, The island ha> a beautiful [u-airie. and the 
Frencb of Canada Inn e made it a centre of connn(U-ce tor the 
western parts, and many pass tlie winter here, because it is a l:-o<m1 
country foi- huntinu." 

After the establishment of this j>ost, Fe Sueur brought to Mon- 
treal Teeoskalitay, a Ln-eat Sioux chief, and the first of that nation 
who liad \ i>ited the city. h\ a council he thus addressed (Jo\ i-r- 
nor Frontenac : All of tlie nations ha\ e a fathei-, whf) alford- 
them jn-otection ; all of them ha\ e iron. ])Ut lie was a ba>tartl. 
in quest of a father; he was come io see liim, and bt'gs he will 
take pity on him.'' 

Placino- twenty-two arrows on a be.avei' robe, and menti<)niii<_i 
the name of a Sioux band for <'a(di arrow, he continued, and. 
among other ihiiiLi'^. said, Take jfity on us. AVe are well aN\ are 
that we are n<»t able to v|H>ak. beinir childi-en ; but Fe Sueur. \\h<' 
understands om- l:inuii:iue and ha^ >een all our villaux-s, will infm iii 
you next year w hat \\ ill ha^•e lu'cii acdiieved by these Sioux ]»and- 
represented by these arrow ^ before y( u.'' 

I*oor Teeuxkahtay ne\ir >aw D:ikotahdaiid aeain. Alter a 


sickiu'ss of thirl y-thrt'u days, i:i tin- spring of lOOO, In- died at 
Afoiilivnl, and was h.irit'd in tin- wliiti' man's grnvo, instead of 
lu'ing olcv.-itc'd on tlu> Iturial scatfold, as lii> fatlu-rs wn-c. 

1a' SiUMir did t]i;-n rclui ii to the ^fissi^sjopi, ]>ut sailed for 
France, and ohtaiiicd itcnnisvinn to open certain mines sn|»poscd 
t(> exist in w hat i- )u>\v the State of Miimcsota ; but, ^\hile com- 
inir back to America, tlie -lii]» in whicli lie sailed w as captm-iMl 
and carried into an Englisli port. 

After his release he ]»roceeded lo France, and in lOOs obtained 
a new license to take iitty men to the snpposed mines ; bnt arri\ - 
ing at ^Nfontreal, tlie Gos ernor of Canada i)Ost]ioned the execu- 
tion of Le Sneur's ]>roject, iiia<much as it had been thonirht l)est 
lo abanvb)n all })Osts an;) witlidi-aw Fi*enchmen from the i-egion 
west of ^Mackinaw. 

Nothing daunted, the in-lomi'.able man once more crossed the 
Atlantic to press liis claims at rourt. Fortunately, D*Iber\ ille, a 
Canadiaii by birth, was m ide Governor of the ])ew territory of 
Louisiana, and i>roved a friend and jKitron. 

In comjKiny with the Governor, lie arrived at a post not far 
from Mobile, on the Gulf of ^Niexio, in December, 1000. The 
next summer, with a felucca, two canoes, and nineteen men, he 
ascended the Mississijipi. On the 14th of Sei»tember he sailed 
through Lake l^epin, and on thj ]Oth entered the river St. Pierre, 
now called by the Indian designation, Miimesota. 

Ascemling the latter stream, he reached the mouth of the l>lue 
Earth; and on a small tributary, called St. Kemi, he tbunded tin- 
third })0St c»f the French, situated in 4:4<' 13' north latitude. The 
f»rt was c.>n\pleted on the 14th of ( )ct' >l).'r, ITon, and calh-d 
l/IIuiller, after the Favnu'r-Ci .niL'ral i.i ]'a:-i^, who had ai b'<l the 

On the 10th of February. 1 :0-2, Le Su.-ur arrived at the post 
on the (iulfof Mexico, and ea:ly ia tli:^ smnmcr sailed tbr Franc- 
in coinj)any Mith Governor D' Iberville. The next year th * 
>u>rknien left at I'ort L'lliiillier als > came down to ;\[ ,bile, beiiej,- 
Ibrced to rotiiv l>y the lr'-:ility oi' Indians an 1 th:- la -k ot" 

IG rorf.ECTioNs (»f thk 

Cndillao, wi-itiiiLT to Count l^oiit li.irt i nin, inuU-r date of Augu>t, 
1703, says— 

Last year llicy sent ^f. Ijoudor, a Montreal nicrcliant, into 
the country ot'tlic Sioux to join Lo Sueur, lie sueceeded so w ell 
in tlie tri]>, tliat lie tran>jK>rted thither tw enty-tive oi- tliirty thou- 
sand }»ounds ot" nierehandise with w hieh to trade. This prove<l 
an unfortunate investment. * * * 

" I do not eon^ider it best any longer to allow the traders i«» 
cany on trade with the Sioux under any pretext whatever, espe- 
cially as M. ]>oudor has iu>t been robbed by the Fox nation. 
-X- % Sauteurs, beinir friendly with the Sioux, wished to 

give passage tlirongh their eounti y to ^1. lioudor, but, the otlu r 
nations being (.)ppi»^i'd t<> it, ditiV-rcnees have arisen whieh resulted 
in the rol»bery of ."Nf. iJoudor. " " *" The Sioux -avc a }»eoplc 
of no value to us, as thry are too far distant."" 

For twenty yi'ars the posts in ^liniu'sota were abandoned by 
the Cana<lian governnu'nt. and the only white nic-n seen were 
soldiers who had de>crted, and vagabond ro»/<(f/cffrf<. who, in 
tlieii" tastes and principles wei-e lower than the savages. It wa- 
at length perec-ived that the eye- of England was on the North- 
west. A despatch from Canada to the French (to\ eminent says, 
'* It is more and more obvious that the P^nglish are endea^oring 
to interlope aiiioii'^- all tlie Indian nations and attach them to them- 
.sel\ es. 'fhey eiilei tain con>tautly the idea of l)ecoming master> 
of North Amei-ic-a, per-^uaded that the European nation w hich will 
be the ])0>>e>>or of thai section, will, in course of time, be alx- 
master of all America, because it is there alone men live in health 
and produce strong- and robust cliildren.'' 

To thw art tlie-e >chc Mu s, w lfu h in tinRMv ere accomplished, the 
French proposed t'> reopen the tiade ajid license traders foi- tin.- 
Northwest. On the 7th of .lune, 1 720, peace was concluded l»y 
l)e Fignery witli the Sauks, l-'oxes, and Winnebagoes, at Cireen 
liay, and Linctot, who had succi'cded St. Fierre, in command 
at La Foinle. on Laki- Suj>erior, w as ordi-red to send presenl-, 
and, by the |.rom!-eof a mi-viniiary, endeavor to detach the Sioux 
IVom thiif alliance with the l'o\e-. 


'J'wo Frt'iic-limeM wt-ro, tlnTclorc, si-iit to <l\vfll in the Sioux 
Im'-TC'^, :mi(.1 to jn'uinise tliat if tlu'V wouM cea^c- |o iiirlit tlu- Ojili- 
w ays, li\'uk' slioiild ()]\vv mort' he I'l'simu'd, ami a l)lack ro])(.' 
(HHiic and tt'acli tliciii. 

The tradei- aiiil ini>>ioiiary in those <hiys were in eh»s(. alliaiiet,., 
and an Indian, in tlie ]»resenee of Count l-'rontenae. once said, 
" While \s"e have heavers an<l furs, lie w ho pi-ayed was w ilh us, 
l>ut wlien our nierehandise failed, those missionaries thoui^lit lliey 
could do no lurtlier service amon^r ns." The truth was simply 
this, liowevei-, tliat wlien the trader left it was unsate tor the man 
of God lo l emain. 

The next sjiriuLr airanLTcnients were made to cari-y out these 
pledges, and pi'ejKii'atious wei'c made hy traders and n)is>i()iiarii's 
to accomj»any the convoy. 

Tile Jesuit fatliei-s of the seventeentli century, like Protestant 
missionaries of tiie nineteentii century, u ere disposed t(» contrii>- 
ute to seience : and on Aj)ril oO, 1 727, the Govei'nor of Canada 
wrote to France that the fa.tliers ai>})ointed loj- the Sloux mission 
desired a ease of nnuhematical instruments, a universal astjo- 
noniic dial, a gi-aduated demi-circle, a s}»iritdevel, a (diain, with 
stakes, and a tele^cojie of six oi" seven feet tube. 

On the iGth oi' June the convoy departed from Montreal for 
llie Mississij)pi. The commander of the detachment was a fear- 
less officer, De la l^erriei'e Ihmclicr, the same man who gained an 
unenviable notoriety as the leader of the brutal savages who 
sacked Haverhill, ^las>achusetts, a few years befoi'e, and exult- 
ingly killed the faithful Puiitau minister of the village. sealpe<l 
liis loving w ife, and then dashed out his infant's brains against the 

On the Wisconsin >h«>re. half-way between the fori and head <<[' 

J.ake Pepin, there is a prominent bluif, four hundred feet liiuh. the 

last two hundred whicdi is a perpendicular limestone e.>earp- 

nient. The Siou.v ha\ i' alw ays gazed upon it as w aw kou," for 

I«oni its top. their legend saith, the beautiful Wenonah leapitl 

nito the arms oi dealh rathei' than nnirry hei- j»ai-ents' ehoicr. and 

be i-nibj'aee*! l»y a w ar'. i'.n- she ccmld Jiot lo\ e. 


0[>i>osife tlie ^MaitKMi's l^ock, as it is r'allcd, on the MiniR'sota 
sido, tlu'i-L* jilts into tlic lakt' a jxaiinsnla, callcl by tlic Fi-t-iich 
Point (111 Sal>lo. It lias always been a stoj)[)inLC place tor the 
c<>i/(i<jc>(i' ; aii<l hci-e, on Septenibor 17, La l*errjere du Bouelier, 
withJiis j)arty. lan.U'"]. and proceeded to bnild tlie fourth and la-t 
l''ren(di post in the N'alley of the Upper .A! isr-issippi, of wITudi ue 
have any I'ecord. 

The stoekade was one humb-ed feet s(piare, within \\hich w ere 
three buildiiiL^^s, snbservin;4, proba1>ly, the ii^es of store, ehaj»el 
and (juarters. One of the lo^- huts was ihii ty-eiLrht by >ixte<-n, 
one thirty by sixteen, and the last twenty-live by sixteen It-et in 
diinensi(^ns. Thei'e were 1w(j bastions, Avith pickets all around, 
twelve feet hiii;!!. The fort was nanie(l, in honor of the Ciovernxi' 
of CaJiada, iieanhainois, and the iathers called their mi>si.i»ii- 
liouse, St. ^Fiidiael the .Vrc]ian;i-el/' 

GuiL;"nas and a compiinioii were tlie Jesuits in eharL^e. Air. 
Shea, w hose /eal in colleetiiiL^ everythin j; t!ie Je>uits w rote per- 
tainiuL!; t(^ Ainerica, entitles him to our L'ratei'ul regard, in his 
compilation of Early N'oya^cs uj) and down the Missi>>ip[-i.""* 
has inserted an interestinu- letter i'rom (TuiLi,nas, written in ^vfay, 

The fatlier says, On the morniuic of the 4t]i of Xovembor 
(1727), we .lid not f<'i ;j:et it was the ;j:enerars birthday. ^Nlass was 
said f<tr him in the niorninu', and they Vvere well dispo>ed to cele- 
brate the day in the eNciiin-j-, but the tardiness of tlie pyrotech- 
nist caused them to j»ost),(,ne the eelcbrati(>n to the 14th, when 
tliey s(,'t oil" some very line lockt'ts and nuule tlie air rini;" willi a 
hundreil shouts of I7/v;A.; Jlmj ! and ]'7rt' Cliarlcs Ikauh'.i r- 
}\oh! * What contributed niucdi to the amuseinont, 

was tlie teri-or to some lod_rfs uf Indians wlio were at that time 
around the fort. \Vlicn these poor jieople saw the tireuorks in 
the air, anil the stais lall down trom lieaven, the women and 
eliildren lTr;j:an to tly, and the niost courai^eous of the men to cry 
for inerey, and us very eai-ne<tly to stop the surprishig 
play of that wonderful m('dicin(>."' 

The spiiuL^ of 17-2:-l was remarkable for tloods, and the waters 


r»)sc so hiii'li as to cover the floors of tlic tort. 'I'iiis yv.iv also. in. 
coiiscijucncc of the liostility of the Foxes, tin' iM.iJority of the 
trailers who a])plie<l for the new e.-^labli-^hinents with'lrew" with the 
missionaries. In goiuLr to llliiioi-- duriiiij- the iiiontli of Oetohei-, 
tiie zealous (iuin'uas was cajttured hy some of the .nllies of the 
Foxes, aii»l was only saved from IteinLi^ l>nri!e(l hy the friendly iii- 
lei'])osition of an aiix'd Indian. Ai'tei- li\ e months of hoinhiLL-e lie 
^\ as set free. 

Se\'eral years after this the ]>r>st seeni< to ha\e been nhuilt a 
few hundred feet tVoni the slioi^-, Iteyond th;* reach ot" hiLih water, 
and to have b.-en inider the charL^e cd* St. IMerre, in the lanuu.-i^'e 
of <i document ol" th:it day, ''a veiy Lro(Ml (»tfieer, none more loM'd 
and feared.'' I'athei- (iuiL;ii:is al>o revisited the ])ost. hut the Sion\ 
wore not friemll} . 

Tlie Governor of Canada, under date of ]\Iay 10, 17;>7, writes. 
'• As res])ects the Siou.v, accordiuLi' \o what the eonuiiandant and 
missionary have written I'clative to the di>j«0'>ition of thesc> In- 
dians, nothiuLT ai>pear> v, antiuii- : but theii- delay in cominir to 
^Montreal must render tln-ir sentiments somewhat susj/ected. J>ut 
what must still further inei-ease uneasiness, is their attack on the 
convoy of M. de la \'^erauderie/" C\a]>taiu St. ]*ierre appears to 
liave been the la^t French otfua'r that i-esi<l(,Ml at the })(»>t, although 
there ^\ ei'e fraders there in 1 7 4.i-4C). for that wintei' the lessees 
lost valuable jx'ltries by a lire. 

Jomithan (\arver. the first KuuTish traveller to the I'alls of St. 
Anthony, in 1 7GG. deseribimr Lake Pejtiu, says. " I observed the 
ruins of a Fi-eueh factory, where it is said Ca]»tain St. Fiei'i'e re- 
sided and cai'ried on a urcat tr.-ide will the Xaud(»\\ cssies Iteforc 
the reduction of Canada.'" 

We belie\ethat fur I hei- research will show that thi< same Caj*- 
taiu St. Pien-e l>ecanie the a^ed Leuardeur St. Vierae, in com- 
mand of the I'ude ])o>t in Kiie county, Pa., in ])ecend»ei-. 17-")-?, to 
wliom Washing-ton. just enteriuL:- U}>on liis manhood, bore a h'ttei* 
from (Jovei'uor 1 )iii\\ iddie, and. after beinu" C(>urteonsly t i'eatcd. 
Nvas t>cnt home witli a diuniu'ed hut decided rejdy. 

The present article, it is th«»u;_dit, contains all the kuowledi^e at 



jnvsc'iit :uM-c's.sil»l(.' in relation to the French torts on tlio Uj»i»cr 
Mississij>pi ; .mikI the }»riiK'ii);il autliorities (•<:>iivulte<l have Ix i-ii 
-AISS. in the Pai iiaiiieiit I/ihrary of ('aiia<hi, C'h:irk'\ oix, l.a irar[K', 
L:i Potlierie, Xew Y»)rk Colonial Doeunientary History, aii'l 
Shea's " Voyai^es up and down the ]\[ississi]»j>i.'' 



For noai-ly Hi'ty years Fort Siiclling lias been well known tni- 
the beauty and prominence of its situation, at the junction of the 
-Minnesota and ]\^issis^i|)pi rivers. 

Kecently a portion of its outer wall has falk'u, caused l>y exca- 
vations for tlic track of a railroad, and, under the advancing and 
resistless pressure of modern civilization, it may be, that within .1 
generation, not one stone will be left on another. In anticipation, 
of its disap])eai"ance, it is the object of this article to narrate sonu^ 
of the incidents connected witli the Fort and tlie vicinity, pre- 
vious to the organization of Minnesota. 

After the cession of Louisiana to the United States, President 
.b'iVersou sent an ex})l<)ring expedition under Lieut. Z. ^L Pike to 
tlio Upper ^Mississippi. On the 23(1 of Se])tember, 1805, on tlie 
island which is called by his nanu', at the montli of the ^Minnesota, 
Pike liold a conference with the Siou.v, and obtained a grant of 
lands for military purposes, nine miles s(piare, at the mouth of tlie 
St. Croix, also from below the confluence of the 3[innes(>ta and 
Alississippi, aiul up the latter, to include the Falls of Saint An- 
ihony, exten<ling nine miles on each side of the river. 

The war m ith Great Iji'itain, and other causes, delayed the es- 
tablisliment of a })Ost on the U}«}>er ^lissis>ippi for several years ; 

22 COLI.K( T1(.)NS OF TlIK 

l)Ut on tlic lOtli of l\'1»i uarv. John C. C'nllioun, ihcii Secic- 

taiy of "War, KsiumI an oixlci- li>r the otli IJcgitnciit of Inf:nitr\- tn 
rciKlezvoiis at Dctmil, jtrcpai-atoiy to proccctliuo- to the 31i>>i>- 
sippl to gan i-cMi or c•^tal»!i-h liiililary jiosts, and the liea«h jiK-n t n - 
of the regiiiK iit was (lii-eete<l to l»e at tlie lort to he h)eate(l at th^' 
niOlitli oi" tlie ]\rniiie>ota, tluMi Si. Peter's river. 

It \va> not until thi ITtli of Septeniher, that l/ieut.-C'o], Lea\ en- 
worth, with a tletaelnnent of ti-oops, icaelieil lliis ])oint. tlie keel- 
boat> liaviiiL:- heeii mueli delayed by the \ ery low static- of watci-. 

A cantonnteiit was Hr>t e<tah!i-ln'il at New Hope, near ^leinl"! a. 
not far from the feri y. J )nrinL:' t lie w inter <>f ] b 1 0--JO, forty of 
the .sohliei-s die'l from scurvy. In the sjiiiiiLi- of lS2n J. 1). I' ai'!- 
banlt eame u|' iV<»ni Prairie du ('liiv'ii with J.eaN en worth's lu)i>e>. 
and nnide his jtermanent home in ^Minnesota. Throuirli his inthi- 
once with tin' commandinLi- ofheer, he ohtained a quns'i urant fri.>ni 
the Indian^ of ]*ike"s Island, hut alu-r an investi^'ation of the eii - 
ouinstanee-. the uovernment rei'used to eonlirni it. 

On ihe '(til uf ^fay, J.ea\ en worth crossed the ^Minnesota, and 
established a sununer eani]> near the spriiiii, aboxe the niililaiy 
u;'ra\ eyard, wliich wa^ called ("old Water." Idie I'elations ot' 
Colonel l.ea\ i-nworth witli tlie Indian Aux-nt at this time AVei-e 
nut as haniK Mii< >ie- as they niiiiht have been. The former \\"a< 
disjiosed t«» distribute medals and jdc'sents, and assmne (bitie> 
that liad not heen deleuateih (iox. ('a<s, returniiiL:' iVom his totn- 
to the I'j'per ,Mi->is>i|tj»i, stojtped at C'am[> (\»ldwater, and seem> 
to liave apjU'cciateil the .\:^cnt's ]»oviii()ii. The actions ot' the 
CN)lonel led t«' the f(»ll( 'W inir lettei from .Alajor Taliaferro: 

Camp St. rr.TEus, July •".<•. l>Ji>. 
■ Pkai; Sik: A> ir is n-.w un.lcrMouil that I am the A-cut fnr Iii-liaii Allhirs in 
this eouiilry. au-I y.iu aroalx'in to lca\f tlic L'[)i>er Mississ!i)[)i. iu all i)rolial'il!iy 
in the c<>iir<c of a niuntli I'l tw ". I l.c- Irav e to su;iac>t. Tor tlie sakooCa general 
nnder.-tau'lin- with the lii«iiaii Iril-e- in this country, that any medals you may 
possc^>.< wouhl. hy \>y\\\'^ tnrnetl tn er to mo, cease to he a topic oC remark amoim- 
the (UlVercnt bamls of In.lian> un-ler my direction. J will pass tu you any 
voucher tiiat may l.« rt tiuiie*!. and I hci,' leave lo ohser\e also thai my prOuiCs- 
iu jnf!uen'-e i- nincli impeded in C"nsi.M[uenee of their Ireiiueiu intercoiase wit'; 


fho ^'arrison. The ni'.>rc v.x-y bocoiu.' Oiiniliari/A-.l to our strength ia this coun- 
try, t!io K's.s a[)t tlicy arc to respect eitlier the A^rnt or his Govcruniont. On 
rcdectioii you will iloul 'l-.-?.- iliiiik u\c correct. 

I am. sir. v;.-ry rf>[)cctfuliy. 

You.- tVii'ud a!i<l o'.tediout servant, 

lu'lian ALient Upper Mi-si-sippi. 

('(>!. H. Lkvve.v'.vi>t:t!:. 

('ouiuviniliu-r '>th T:.:*:v'.ury. Canii) r<jlil\v;iter. 

The (li<;istr.>u^ t if-.-ct .-f tiK- uiii-esri-iete'd intercourse of Tu'lians, 
^vith tlie >«>Kliv'rs «>t*ihc garrison, was i»,)r('i1)l y cxhiljitLil a t\'\v Jays 
sul>so<iuei\t to tlie .lat-j ut'ihis k'ttcr. 

On the thir.l of An-n-t Maliuussau, a cluef callo'l l)y tlKMsiiitcs 
01(1 Ijiistard," aeco'n[>ankMl by anotlicr Tinlian, visited Camp 
Colihvater, and was luest-ntod witli ''firo water/' While on 
his retain to tlie Aiz>.Micy, still kept at the iirst cantonment, his 
comrade stal>l>cd Ifnn. 'i'lie occurrence called fortli the i'ollowinL;- 
note : 

IxDiAN' Agexcv, St. Peters. August ."», 1>^20. 

Beau Sir: His Kxee-V-rioy Gov. Cass, ihu-iu'j: hi? visit to this Post, remarked 
i<> mo that tlie Indians ia this quarter ^vero spoiled, and at the same time said 
that they should r^ot he [-eriuiaed to enter t!ie Camp. I beg leave to suggest to 
> ou the i>ro[>rieiy cf his remark. l)y au ooservance of which my influence may 
he facilitated and the government respected. An uri[>leas"int aiVair has lately 
taken jdace. I niean th.e sirihhing of the old chief >hihg -ssau hy liis comrade. 
I'his was cat'.sed, dou'-tles-. 1>y an anxiety to obiain tlie chief 's vrhiskey. I heg, 
'herefore, that, no v.-h:sk'\v v. liatever given to any Indian, unless it be througli 
iheir ]»ro[>er Ag'-nt. Wliile an overi)lus of wliiskey thw.arts the beneficent and 
he.mane policy of the Government, it entails misery ui)on the lu'-lians, and 
'■ndangers their lives as well as those of their own people. 

Very respectfully, yoiir obedient servant, 

LAWll. TALIAFl-JUlO, In.liau Agent. 

Col. H. Le vvr.xwoRTir, Commanding ."th Infantry. 

A few day.s after tliis corres[)(-)ndenee, Col. Josiah Snellin-j; 
arrived, and relieved Leavenworth. Hi.s presence infused system 
and energy amoncr men and ollicers. On the lOth of September 

24 f oi.t.i:< riu.Ns ok i iik 

iIk- c»»riK-r stoiK' of J'oii St. Anthony la'nl. Tlir 1»;ii);ick>^ 

wcMH' at first lu-- st i-iiclnrcv. 

Durinu' tlic siiinincr ol'ls-jo a jtart y ol' tin- Sisvi ton SI.»m\ kiilcl 
oil tlu' ^Ji»?iouri Isadora l*tHi|M)n. a liaK-lnci-d. and .loM-pli 
.Andrews, a Canadian, two im-n in tlu* employ of a I'ur c >nij.;uiy. 
.\s soon as tlK' intolliucnce i-eaclu d tin- Aiivnt. Major Taliaferro, 
tradi' with the Sioux was interdicted until the Liuilty were 
surrendered. VindiiiL:- lliat they Were depiived "f hlanket-. 
powder and to1>aceo. a eouneil w as held at ]V\<j: Stone f>akr, and 
one (»f the mui-di'rers. and the au'etl fatlier of, an'reed t.» 
[SO down and suri ender t heinst'J\ es. 

On the twelftli of No\ end>ei-, eseorted hy tVi*. ii«fs an<l i rla! i\ e^. 
they approaelied the \>o>t. Ilaltini:- for a hrief pericnl, ilu y toniu <l 
and niarcdu'd in solemn ])roeession to the eentre of ihe pai'ade 
UTOtnid. In advanee was a Sisseton, beariuLi" a lii'itish tla.u : next 
came tlie ]nurderer, and tlie old man w ho liad otfered iiini-elt a- 
an atonement tor liis s(»n, with their arms pinioiK-d. and lar<je 
wooden s|>linter> tliru^t tlirouu'li the tlesh a1>o\e tlie el1>ow. 
indieatinu- theii* eontempt for pain; and in tlie i-ear followed 
friemls cliantini: the death-soiiLT. 

After IjurninLi' the liriti'-h tiau' in front of the sentinels f>f the I'oi t. 
they foi inally delivered the jji isonei s. 'JMie mui derer \s as >ent 
under guard t«» St. L(Uiis. ami the old man 4letaim'd as a hostatii-. 

The tirst w hite w<unen in .Minnesota were the w ivi-s ot' arms 
officers. ^[|-s. Snelling-. aeeom[>anied her husUand. and a few 
<lay.s aflei- hei' arrival at .Afeiidota. a daughter was horn, and al'tei' 
a hi'ief existenee of thirteen numths, die«l and was hurled in thr 
grave yard of the fort. It A\ as the first interment, and the stone 
Avhi(di niaik^ its remains can still he seen. 

'J'he w ife of (*a|>tain Clark, the eonnnis>ary of tlu' j»o.vt. arri\ etl 
in 1S2<>. w ith an infant, horn at Fori Winnehago. ^^'iseonsin. w ho 
still lives, a residt-nt of Mimics. Ua. and the honored wile ot" tlu- 
«juiel. < ilicient and una>snining .Major (ieucial Wan CleM-, 

3frs. (iouding. the w ife ot' ("apt lin ( MUKllng. remained at the 
po^t until IS'JI. when her hushaiid roigncd. and heeame the sut- 
h'r ot' I^-ai'.-ie du Chicii. 


Tlic war 1S21 \vas occupied l>y tlie inilitai'v in tlic construction 
<•!* the fort, and l)y ^lajor Taliatrno, tlie ai^cnt, in di.»ipatincr the 
l>rejudi<'cs of tlic- Indians, instilled l>y liiitisli traders. 

On the I'itli of Scjiti iuher a part y of Sissetons visited tlie .\irent 
:ind the spokesman said : 

" We are <;lad to find your dr.oi- o]»en to-day, my fatliei-. Tlie 
Indians, you see, are like tlie wild dogs of the ]»rairie. Wlien 
tlicy slop at nig]it, tliey lie down in tlie open air, and I'ise with the 
snn and pui-sue their journey. 1 a})plied for the other nmrdei-er 
of the white men of the ^lissouri, luit in bringing- liim down, the 
IV'ar of being hung induce"] him t > stab himself to deatli."" 

Early in August, a young and intelligent mixed blood, Alexis 
liailly, left the fort for the I vcd IJivei- settlement, M ith a drove of 
lliirty or forty cattle. 

On the iirst of Oelul'er. INIaJor Taliaferro and some of the olh- 
cers of the fort, and ^Irs. Ca})tain (looding, rode u}> to the Falls 
of Saint Anthony, to \-i>it the government mill, being constructed 
under the sn[)ervisiou r>f Lieut. ^TeCabe. Two weeks later. Col. 
Snelling, Lieut, Ibixk-y. 3[rs. Gooding, and Major Taliaferro Avent 
to l?i-airie <lu Chicn in the keebboat Sauey Jack." 

I'larlyin January, )s22, Ak'xi> ]>ailly, Col. liobert Dickson, and 
Messrs. Laidlaw and ^faclcc'iizie ai'rived at the I^rairie from Sel- 
kirk Settlement. A\'hile here, the fndian .Vgent U'arned that at a 
saw mill on the IV.aek ITiver, buih by Hardin J\rkins, a foreign 
subjt'Ct, named J. 15. 3[ayr:uid. ^\ as tradiiig williout a license, and 
on the 2d of J'\bruai-y. he scut Thomas ^MeXair to seizi' his goods. 
'I'lie notorious dos-ph liok-lt!.'. son., atteni}»ted to frustr.ite the 
plan, by sending Alexis Ibiilly to give warning. On the same day 
tiiat ]\IeNaii- was sent to ]>Iiiek lii\er, Dousnum was author- 
ized to take ]ios<cvs!on vi^ the store.- of .'\K']ltre^ ille, trading \\ \\]\ 
tiic Indians above Lake IVpin. 

I'^roiii that tinu- tin' old r>rili>h traders did not leave a stone 
niiturned In clfrct tli. n-nu-val of :\[ajor Taliaferro, as he could 
not be ct)axed noi- intimidated to wink at the i)lans fur fleecing thi' 
iirnorant Indians. 

2(3 culli:<.:tiuns of tih: 

In till' frill (»f i><22 Fori St. Anthony .viitlic'u-ntly coniitk-lcl 
tu ;i«lniit of its oc-cnpancy by tlio trocjis. 

In tiic s|>!-inu- of 1 .S_':} il was })rovc(l tiiat it was<-al)li; to 
naviLialL' the .Mi-sis^ij)})! with sic'aniur.:;is as lar as ihe Minnt-sula 
riviT. 'i'he Vir'^inia, a. stoamcr one luui'lred an<l cii^hteen (wt. in 
ItMiLith aii'l twenty-two in wi<lth, c omnianiled by Caj)tain C'l'aw- 
fortl, on the lOih of .May nni'le its a}>peararee at the Fort, and was 
reeeiveJ witli a sa.hite. .Vniong tiie }/assen j;eis wei'e ^rajor 
I>i(Ulle, Lt. lJu.-sc'll, TalialeiTO, the Indian Au'ent, ami Bellr;;nii, 
an Indian refngee and ti-aveller, with letters of introdueti<.)n to 
Col. Snc lling and family. • On the od of July Major Long, i>f the 
Topographieal Engineers, ai-rlveil al tlie Fort, at the head of an 
expedition to ex])lore the Minnesota rive]-, and the i-egi<.»n along 
tlie northern boundary line of the United States. Beltrami, at tlie 
instance of Col. Sneliing, wa.s permiited to be oiie of the exploring 
pai'ty, and Major Taliaferro kindly gave him a herr>e and equip- 
ments. The I'olations of the Italia.n to Long did not- prove 
pleasant, and at Pembina Beltiami separated . from the i):irty, and 
with a ''l)ois bi'ule"" and two Ojibways pr.)cecded, and discovered 
the northern sonre^'S of the I\Iississippi, and suggested wlu re the 
western som-ees would be f(;uml, wjiich vras veriiied by Scliool- 
eralt nine years latvr. Abont tlie second week in Septe!uV*er 
Behrami returned to tin- I'ort by way of the ^Mississippi, o>eorted 
by foi't}- or tifly t^jibways, and t>n tlie ^.jth departed for New Ov- 
leaiis, whi-re he jiui/ii^hed his dis('o\ eri(>s in the I'reucli language. 

In the year tlie ]*'oi-t was vir ited by General Scott, on a 

tour of inspL-etion, and at liis suggestion its name wa.s tdmnged 
from Fori St. .\nthr>]iy to Fort Sneliing. 

The following is an extract from liis report to the War De[K;rt- 
ment : 

This Wvu-k, uf which t!ic Dcpai ihicni is in po.-.-e^sii'U of a i>lan, rellecis 

the hi'.'-ht.'st cTf'lit on ('uL Snollin--, his Dillcriv- -iml nion. The dclV'n-os, anil iV r 
the inwst pai-t the puV)lic >ti>n']i'v,is;'s, shutis ami ipiartrrs hcirvj- constrncUMl >>t" 
siono, ih(^ whole is hkoly lo (Muhiro as h)n^- as the post shtiU remain a froniicr 
one. The cost of criM-iicMi lo l!io p-ovcrnnu-nl lias («n!y In .m\ tho amount pai'l I'ur 
tools aiiil iron, and the por iIion\ p-.U'l to s<j!ili(>rs eniplojod as nicchanios. 

■MIN.VK.SOTA ni> 1 OKK AI, ^iOflKTV. 


1 wisli t(i sitjxiif.'st tu tlie OciuTiil-iu-Cliiof, ami tlirou^i liiui to the ^^'ar 
I •.[i.-irliiifur, t!io propriL'ty of calliii-- t]ii.-< work Fort SncHiii;_'-. as a lust coinpli- 
iiiiMil to till' nioritorious ollieer u:uUm- whoni il lia.s l«ccu erected. 

The present iiaifi'- [Fort >i. Antliony] is furcig-u to nil our a-sociati<^iis. a.inl 
is lu'siilc.-, trooLM-aiiliically ii\e<»rroet. as the work staiuls at the junction of t1i(.- 
Mississippi and St. Fetor's rivers, l iu'lit luilr-s Ijelow the ;j'reat falls of the Missis- 
.--ippi. called after St. Auihoiiy. 

Ill 1824- 3l:ijoi- 'J'alialVrro .ccodcd to "Wasliiiiuton, witli :i 
(U'lcLTation ol' Cliipi 'ew ays and ]):i!ikotalis lioaded by Litlle Crow, 
the <j,rnndtatlici- oi'llie Chiid' <>f ihc same naiiK-, avIio was (.'iioao-t-d 
in ilic JUte* liorrible iiias.-aci'c of del^n'ccloss ^voukm] and cdiil(]ieii. 

object of tlie visit was to secure a convocation of all tlic tribe s 
of the l"j)})er A[ississ!|»j>i at Pr:iirie du Cliien, t-o delino their 
l)oini(hiry lines and ostabli-h frieiidly i-ehitions. AVlien tliey 
reached Pi-airie du CItieit, Vrahnaiadi, a Yancton cliieb and aUo 
\Va])as]ia\\', by llie w]ii>}ierinu"> of mean trader>. b^'eauu- disaffected, 
and wished to turn b;iek. Liltle Crow, ]>erceivinL:' tliis, .stoj)[>C'd 
al! }iesit;tncy by tlie foil-wing spcv'eh : 

" 3Iv Fi:n:xi)s : Yoti can do ;i> yiea pk^ase. I am no coward, 
nor can my cars bo jndk'd about by evil counsels. We arc lure 
and skouhl -o «>n, and do some good lor our nation. I liavc take n 
our Fadier hoi-e [Taliaferro] by the coat-tail, and will follow him 
until 1 take by ik.e liandi onr great American Father."- 

While on board t>f a steamer e,n the Ohio river, ]\[arcj»Oc or the 
Cloud, ill con-.'(]uence- of a bad d,re;;m. jumped from tlic stern of 
the boat, and wa.s supj>osed to bi- drowned, l)ut he sw am ashore 
and made his way t<> St. Chai'les, ?,[o., there to be murdered by 
SMinc Sacs. The remainder safely arrived in Washington, ami 
accomplished the ol»ject of the visit. The l^ahkotahs returiietl 
by the w a}' of Xew York, and w hif - there were an.\i(;us t(^ ]iay a 
visit to certain j^arlies withAVm. Dickson, n half-breed son of C"ok 
lo)bert Dickson, the trader who led the Indians of the Xorthwest 
against the United Stato in the war of Is] 2. 

After this \ isit, Little Crow carriedi a new double-barrv'led gun, 
-•iiid said that a medicine man by the name of Peters ga\-e it to 
him Ibr signing n certain j>aper, and that he also ])romi>e<l he 


would send a keol-hoat full of goods to tlieni. The uu-dieine man 
j'oferred to was the Samuel Peters, an Kitiseojiul elei-L^yman, 

who had made him>elf ohm »:\ious during tlie devolution hy ]\\< 
tory sentiments, and was subse(|uentl y nominated as ]rish<»]) oj* 
\'ermont. " 

Peters asserted that in 1800 he had purchased of the heir^ 
of Jonathan Carver the right to a tract of land on the Ui)per 
Mississippi, em1)racing St. Paul, alleged to have l)een given t'* 
Carver by the Dahkotidis in 17G7. 

The next vt^-ar tlieri' ai-ri\-ed in one of the kei'lboats from Prairi<- 
du Chien at J'oi-l Snelling a box marked for Cul. Ilobert Dickson. 
On opening, it \\"as found to contain a few pi-esents fron-i ^Ir. 
Peters to Dickson's Indian wife, a long letter, and a copy of 
Carver's alleged grant, \\ ritten on parchment. 

As early as .V]'ril oth, 18-.3, tlu' steamboat Pul\is Putnam, Cap- 
lain })ates in command, reached the I'ort. Four "w eeks after ^lle 
made a >econd tri]) with gooiN for the Colmnbia Fur Company, 
:ind pr*)eeede<l to Land's ]*]nd, their trading post on the Minne- 
sota river. 

This year ;il>o remarkable for the great convocation of 
ti'ibes at ]*i'airie du Chien, in ihe |>res<'nce c-f Governors Ca>s and 
Clark, at ^\■hich a d; linite b.nmdai-y line between the Chippeways 
an<l Dahkotah country was agrerd ujjon. 

Tiio lit. It'.-v. <'l.:i~ -, lii-h"]. of X( -v n;i'i:i>-iiirc. hi lii.-s iiotoi on tlic History 01 the 

l'rot•"^t;lnt Fi.i-i'"i*:a in V. r;ii..;it, -ay-, " TIr; ilw. S;n;iiul Peters, I,L. D.. f:tii.i!i:irly 

kii'-^W)! anion/ our ijM-.i- i.1im:-. Ii;ii. 11 iiiulci- tho name .>f ' IJi-li.q) Potvrs,' tells us, [see lii^ Lil'c of 
Uu.'li I', p. '.'l,i t!i.'.' ii - \s;L- til" tir.-t cli r;:> man uiio \i-itt.O. ' Vt-rJ Mont,' as lie calls it. 
Tliis v,-a^ in ect'.l^vr. IT'o, '.vis n. \\ \'\\ a n'unl.-.r of a; Kmic:) , h-j ascciiil.Ml tu one of tlio Oi e<.ii 
Mountain peak-:, an.l tiirr.\ in >i_'lit t.f Lake Chaiiiiilain nn the wist aiul of Connecticut river 
oa the east, aii<l it re'eliii;-' l:i-' y'lrw nvi r inti rininaMe f.>i e.-t.s northward ami soutlrA ard, 
proclaitnol the nani- of ' \'.v.\ ^lont.' Afl. r this, a - hv i-ihites, he i>a-setl throneh ui.-t of the 
scttlenietUs, ])reachi;-, an.l h-i i-M/inu' f^r th" space of . i.'h.t weeks. The baptized hy 
liiiii, at that early p.ri.'d, of a.lnl'.s .-in.! ehihlren, is set doun at nearly twelve hundred— a 
nuniotr n ry rri:iarkal>l<-, certainly, coi!-id> rinLr tiie -pars-.n. of t!ie population." 

It is viiid to he on r-.'-ord that he wa- m-,,, 1 nul, il for c. lonial lli-h.oj) .if Vermont, hy some one 
of the' llritish col .'.dal :-o\ eriiors. Accordin.'ly he wi nt f o l;i!,::Ian l to i)rocure consecration, 
hut was reje ct. -.1. Af;. r tlie eh.,,- of the AVarof ih.' R.-vohiti.-n he revived his elai:u to the 
hi-hopiij of Venn 'tit. at'd applied to the n^ \\ ly coi<. ;.. erat ed Ann rican r.ish.ops ; hut freni some 
••ause he fail--il tu iiuikt his elain.s n -pect. d, air>l so n. ver h" came I'.i-hop. He was an extreme 
lory, and -ji. itt most of lils lif.. iu j-oliiieal int ri;.'u.-ry . lie di- 1 in New York, April 10. IS.''"-, at 
Uie ai-'e of ninety y> ars. — '.'^noni'tn'. 


After the council w as ovoi", ^fi-. TalialciTo ami delegation lell in 
tliree .MaekinaM" l»oats, witli ei;4lileen voya^jenrs. Great sickness 
j>re\aile<l among llie Indians. ]>erore Lake Pcj)in was readied, a 
Sisseton eliief die<l. At Little Crow's village, on the east side of 
the river, just helow tlie pi-esent city of St. I'aul, the sickness had 
so increased tliat it was necessai-y to leave one of tlie boats, and, 
after much ti-ihnhition, on the :U)t]i of August, tlie remainder «)t 
the party reached Fort Snelling. The Agent ai)]>ointed ]\Ir. Lai<l- 
law to conduct the Yancton^, '\Vali[)etons, AValikpacootays and 
Sissetons to tlieir homes, hut 0!i tlie way twelve died. 

Among tlie sick Chippeways wlio died at the moutli of tlie 
Sauk rive)-, about tlie same time, was the wile of IIole-in-tlie-Day, 
and the mother of tlie |n'esent chief of that name. 

On the .'30th of October, seven Indian women, in canoes, were 
draun iiito the ra})ids above the Falls of St. Anthony. 

All were saved but a hime girl who was dashed over the Fal]<, 
whose body, a month afterwards, was found at Pike's Island, in 
front of the Fort. 

Forty yeai's ago, the means of communication 1>otween Fort 
Snelling and the ci\ ilized w<^rld wei'e very limited. The mail in 
winter was usually carried by soldiers toPiairiedu Chien. On 
the 2Gth of January, lt^2G, there was gi'eat joy in the foit, caused 
by the return from furlough of Lieutenant^ Baxley and Russell, 
who brought Avith them the lirst mail received for montiis. 
About this period thei e was also another excitement caused by 
llie seizure of li<jUors in the trading bouse of Alexis Bailly, at 
Xew Hope, now ^fendota. 

Li Febi iiai-y, the monotony of wilderness -life vvas ag;iin 
broken by a duel l)etween two oilicers of the garrison. On the 
'J'Kl of this month the oilicers went down to Faribault's house, a 
>hort distance from Carver's Cave, to attend a grand medicine 
<lance. During the month of ^March, a young son of Lieutenant 
^Telancthon Smith died. OlHcers and men, j»i-eceded by a Ijand 
"f music playing the " Dead March,'' escorted the remains to 
their last resting place. 

HO cor-i.K' TiONs or jhk 

Oil tlio stli of l\'1»ruary Colonel Sih IHiii;- rt'Cc'iN cd follnwiMi:- 
K'ttcr I'roin llie Tiitliaii .\ll\-iU : 

Sii; — A^T.'oaMy to your r.'([ur:-t. made a few <\:\y^ .^iiici". doslriiri- iiilnr- 
inntioii a- {■> tlio most iM-ac-iieal-le ami s[>roiiy iL-uti"' to tlio sovi-ral trad'nii: j«n.-T-; 
oil tlio I'pi'cr Mi«;s-;ii)M;. also, tho miml'cr of jK-tints at ^\•hif•l^ location- liavr- 
boon nia«lo for earryin.r on tru'to with the rmlians, uwd al-o any other in!(jnna- 
tion (lcome>l pertinent to tlie snhject. that miij-ht be in my pi-,.-^.-s-:ion. 

1 have at length, ai'ier n inll examinali'in of documents in my olfice, been 
cnabloil to .--tale a< follows : Th.e number of Ic'Cations mail(- l>y me imdei- thi- 
act of Coni>ress of the litUh of ,May. iN'il. on the ^vater■; of the Mi.-sissi[i|.i 
alom-. aiaoimi to scveu in numlier, viz., one at the mouth of Cli']>pe\\'ay riv(-r. 
one ai the FalU (A' Si. ("roix. one at (.'ntw Jslaml. one at Sau'ly Lake. f>t!e at 
J.eaf J/ike. or.e ai h'-eeh hake. a;nl one at Ile'l Lake. 

My letter to \\>u o!' l!;e tUh of January Ja-l. informs yon of the purport of 
Mr. rresootl's reoori, ami _there is no i!..ui.u l)iit that the ;j:oO(i< and peltries of 
Ihosj Can-.i iia'i< near \\U ];o!:-'-, are liabhj t... anvi w cnld be a lawful sei/.ure, be- 
sides the Ibrfeilui'e of ti.eir bi..nd>>, in the .-mn of .■^.">0!» each, llii-y cnteriuu" tiie 
country to serve a- 1/oaisv.ain or interjueior. a- tiie case niay i.'c. 

^Iv. Jkikei- report^ on" i;ou-;e lo lie in operation between Crt.w Island auvi 
Sandy Lake wljcrr no lo/aiiou has bcc-n made hy any A^iCiit o!' tiie -overn- 
ni Mit. 'flii- trad. r. ii appear--, was lieen-ed f;r lied Lake, and permiitcl to 
take with him twenty ke/s of liouor. but found it be tter suited liis ])in-pose ti» 
establish hii.Holf a< In^H-ro stafd. 

Thero may bo -ou-.o v. ieskey at Sandy Lake, b-.'.f no laiye <piaiility nearer 
than the tpost of the An. 'riean Lnr ro;;[;iany. at the Fond-iiu-lac. on Lake Su- 
perior, vhd'-h Vv'oid'l !'(• too far Ibr troo^'.s to march at this ad.\anccd soa-^on of 
the w iitter. 1 am ;d<o inf .rim d that the bnildin.i:s which vrere erected for the 
aecommoda; ion of cur ir.>o;,; v.ddle crottinc;- timber for the pi;blie <^er\lee last 
winter, arc now oecupio l by eonunon liands of tlic American Fur Company, 
and are no doubt tmlawfidiy eii_'af:od in the Indian trade. Traders have no 
riiiht to station their na !i at any ■{)oint. other than at special ]'osts. assitrned iii 
their license.'^. 

it is not in niy ).owrr lo -iNc a correct .statement of liic routo from this 
]iO!!it to the lea.lin.' lo.;auoii< abo\e oa the M i.-;sis>ippi, J liavr. therefore, pro- 
ciu-ed a faiihiul Indiai; a< a :^uide io the tir>t post. Crow L<land. where every fa- 
cility to the v^lu r j.osis will be aaonled by Mr. V.. F. I3aker. 

I ;ua fully impr. -s.-d v. ith th^.- l-eli- f that sliowin;/ a dctachmeid of troo})? oc 
easioiially in tho Indian e -untry. on tho Upj'.er Mis.-ii.-sippi. will have the en"oct. 


i:i ;i short time, of pnttitiL: an ciitiro sl<>i). to this potty illieit iru'lo. and tlir 
f.-riii'^' of whi.skoy. \v]ii<;h lioon carriod on for several years past. And it 
,il<o makes stninir impression^ on tlie minds r>f tlic Tmlians. They see that the 
•..■ovcrnauMit ean rea-'h then and the traders nl<o at pleasure."' 

In coinu'Ctioti witii letter, we recofd tlio locations an'l 

ii.-unes of all llie |i<)sts within tlie ALTCiicy at that time: 

1. Fori Ailams. Lac-«pii-par]e. liouse ofCNdumliia Fur Comiiany. 

2. Fort ^Va<hinotMi,. Lae Traverse, " " " " 
I). Fort Colundaa. l'i);)cr Sand TFdls, Cheyenne, Ameriean 

4. Fort Twiddle. Crow Island, 

r>. Fort Rusli, mouth of C!iippev>'ay river, " " 

•). Fort Union. Traverse dcs Sioux. Columlna " 

7. Fort Factory, near Fort Suellin:^-. on the St. Fetor's, 

y. P'ort IJarbour. Falls of St. Crohv. Columl,)ia Fur Company. _ 

'J. Fort Calhoun, Loech Lake, American 

10. Fort Bolivar. Loaf Lake, Columhia. " 

11. Foia Pike, lied Lake, American " 
FJ. Fort Hice, Dovirs Lake. 

n. Fort Greene, below Big Stone Lake, " 

11. Fort Southard, Forks' of Ile<l Cedar liiver, • • " 

la. Fort L<"wis, Little P.apid< (St. Peter's), 

10. i'ort Cordcderation. second t\)rks Des Moines River, Columbia Fur C'om- 

17. Foi-t Benton, Sandy Lake, American Fur Compau}'. 

DiirinL;' tlio montlis of I'^dn-uary and ]\Iareh, in tlic year 1S'20, 
snow fell to the doj)t]i of two or tlireo feet, and there was i^reat 
•^Hlferini;- anions' the Indians. On one occasion thirty lod'jjes of 
Sisseton and otlua- Siuiix were overtaken by a snow storm on a 
lai-ge ))raii ie. The >torin continued for tliree days, and ]»rovisi(>ns 
grew scai'ce, for the ['arty were seventy in nnnd)er. At last the 
stronn-er men, with the few pairs of snoNV shoes in their })Os.session, 
started for a trading- p<»st onelnnulred miles distant. They reaciied 
tlieir destination half alive, ami the traders sympathiziiiL^-, sciit 
f«.»ur Oatiadiaiis with snt)idies for those left behind. Alter L,-rc-ai 
toil they reached the scene of distress and tbnnd many dead; and, 
what was more horrible, the livin<j; feeding on the coi pscs of (heir 
relatives. A mother Iiad eaten lier dead child, and a })ortion of 



lior own fathor's ai-in.s. Tlic shock to ]\qv nervous system wa^ so 
great tliat she lost her reason. Her name was Tasli-u-no-ta, and 
she was botli yonng and nooildooking. One (hiy in Sejitoniht-r, 
1820, while at Fort Snelling, she asked Captain Jouelt if he knew 
whieh was the best portion of a man to eat, at the same time tak- 
ing liini by the collar of his coat. lie i-eplied with great astonish- 
ment, " Xo,'' and she then said " the arms." She then asked 
for a i)iece of his sei'vant to e{it, as she was niee and fat. A few 
days after this, she dashed lierself from the bluffs near Fort Snelling, 
into the river. ITer body was found just above tlie mouth of tin- 
Minnesota, and decently interred by the Agent. 

The spring of 1S20 was veiT backward. On the -JOth of March 
snow fell to the depth of one or one and a half feet on a level, and 
drifted in heai»s from six to fifteen feet in heiglit. On the oth of 
April, early in the day, thei-c was a violent sno^v storm, and the 
ice was still thick in the river. During the storm Hashes of light- 
ning were seen and thunder heard. On the lOlh the thermonietei- 
was four degrees abox e zero. On the 14th there was a rain, and 
on the next day the St. Peter's river broke up, but the ice in the 
]\[ississipt)i remained firm. On the 21st, at noon, the ice Ix'gan 
to mo^'e, and carried away Mi-. Farribault's houses on the east 
side of the river. For sevei-al days the river was twenty feet 
above low water mark, and all the houses on \u\v lands were 
swept oil*. On the second of May the steamboat Lawrence, 
Oapt. Ileeder, arri^ ed. 

Major Taliafen-o had inherited se^•eral slaves, that he used t(» 
hire to ofilcei's of the garrison. On the 31st of ^larch hi^ negro 
boy AVilliam wa- employed by Ool. Snelling, the latter agreeing 
to clothe him. Abont this time 'William attempted to shoot a 
hawk, l)ut instead shot a small boy, named ITenry McCullum, and 
nearly killed him. In ^lay, Oajttain l^lympton of the 5th Infanti-y 
wished \*> purcha.^e his negro woman Eliza, but he relused, as it 
was his ijitention ultiunitely to free liis slaves. Another of his 
iiCLiro uiri<, Hai riest, was marrii'd at the Forl^ the 3Iajor i»erlbrm- 
ing- the cei-c niou}- to the wow historic Dred Scott, who M as then a 
slave of Sur^xon 1-^merson. 



The only person that ever i)iircliase(l a slave was ^Vlexis Bailly, 
who bought a man from ^lajor Gai-land. The Sioux at first liad 
no i>reJu(Aices against negroes. Theycalletl them " blaek Freneli- 
men/' and plaeing their hands on tlieir ^\ oolly heads M ould laugh 

The following is a list of the steaiidjoats tliat had ai-rived at 
Fort Snelling up to ]May 20, 18G2 : 

1. Virginia, May 10. 18'2;3. 1 9. Josephine. 


rutnfiin, April 2. 1825. 

10. Fulton. 

11. Red Rover, 

•i. Mandan. I 12. Black Rover. 

r>. Indiana. i 13. Warrior. 

0. Lawrence, May 2, 1S2«5. ; 14. Enterprizc. 

7. Sciota. I 15. Volant. 

S. Eclipse. I 

The subjoined was written l)y Col. Snelling to Major Taliaferro, 
while the latter was on a visit to tiic Sioux of the Tppei- Minne- 
sota : 

For.T SXELLIXG, All.uiist 2G, lS2r). 

Dear Sih: "^'our I'^tter of the 24th was received last evening-. 1 liave Jireet'.-d 

Capt. Watkins to t.ike twenty days rations; it will be better to havi- a snri)lu> 

t!ian a deficiency. Col. Croghan has been liere, and departed \ery well satisfied. 

Mr. ^[ar.^ll acconi[Kinied liint, ami left a letter for you. wldch I now send. It 

ficeni.s tiiat Mr. Secretary Larbour look no other notice of your letter than tc 

6er\d it to Gov. Cas.s. and he gave it to ir.'irsh. and " w v<: fjo." 1 liave no seri- 

ou.^ apprehensions for the safety of Fort Crawford, l>ut the reports afloat were 

of such an imposing ch;',racter that I thought it niy dutv to reinforce it. if it 

hnd fallen for want of aid. T should ha\ e !r)St niy military reputation l'ore\ er. 1 

trust thai you will agree with me that Capt. ^\'ileox\vas a good selection for tlif 

command. Wabasha is said to lia\ e ncreed to join the confederacy, if the Sioux 

<<'■ the St. Peters would do it, and they have declined. "We liavc no mail, nc^r 

news. Your alVai rs go on well luuk-r Mr. L.. ^vho is a general fa\«>rit('. My 

t.imily is about as u>ual. JoseplTs wound is doing well. Madam dosires to bt< 

s;inc(^rely and cordially remembcri'd to you. Caj)t. Garlaml is here, with u verj 

I'lteivsting family. Reuivnd^cr me to ht. Jamiesoii. 

Truly your friend, J. SXKl.LIXd. 

Majoi L. Indian .\gent fur the Siuux of the St. Petrrs. 


During tlu* fall of 182G all the troo[>s at Fort C'l-awfoi'd ^vore 
brought U}» lo Fui't SnelUug, ruudi'i ing the garrison very full. 

On the night of the 2sth of May, lS-J7,M hile Flat I^fouth, Chief 
of the Pillagers, and a detachment of the Sandy Lake Indians 
were quietly encanijied in front of the Agency House, and under 
the guns of the Fort, nine Sioux attacked them, >\ounding eight 
of the j';irty. The Sioux were iininediately notilied that as they 
liad in.-ulted the ilag of the United States they must m:dce ann)le 
satisfaction. On the next day they deli\'ered nine of the assail- 
ants, and tw.j of them were immediately shot. On the 31st two 
more were deliven d up, and met with a similar fate. 

Among the wounded Chij>)K*ways was a little girl ten years old, 
who lia-.l hcL-n >]i«'t ihr .;'.gh tlie thighs. Surgeon McMahon made 
every effort to save her life, but without avail. 

After the removal of the tj-oops from Fort Crawford to Fort 
Snelling, theAVinne])aLi'<>e's became mcue and more insolent, and in 
the muntii of ^^larch, Is-JT, they attacked the camp of a hall-breed 
at Fainted Ivovk Cruek, on the Iowa side of the river, above the 
prairie, and killed the wliolc family. 

About th.c s;ime time two keelboats, witli provisions, on their 
way to Fort Snelling. had been orderetl to land at Wapasha's 
village, by his band of Sioux, but the crew by preserving a bold 
mien were not moli st<'d. 

On thcii- return, w hile :ibout .'30 miles above Prairie du Chien, 
they were attacked by ^onu- AVinnebagoes, maddened by liquor 
obtained lV<>m Jos(.i>h Poh-tte. Joseph Snelling, a son of the 
Colonel, who was a }»assi-nger «m (uie of the boats, in a letter to 
his fatlier, s:iid that th(> front boat, Mhich was a few miles in 
advance «'t the other, was attacked in the evening, antl ])ierced 
with hundreds of bullcls. The Indians then boarded the 1)nat and 
attempted to run lu r avhoi e, hnt by the signal bravery of the 
crew they were dri\ en <>tr. The rear boat was also attacked, but 
after several rounds were iire.!, t]»ey desisted. 

^Murders were also eonunitted iiear Prairie du Chien, and the 
panic striidcen settler- had takeu r . \u Fort Crawford. 

Assjou as ili j iiit J igeiice was •-•ed, on the evening of July 



Lull, Col. ISnelliiiii: started in kot-lbouts witli four coni]>anie.s to 
protect Fort Cranfortl, and on the IVtli of August four more 
companies of otli Infantry loft under 3[ajor FuM'le. 

After au absence of six weel:s, the soldiers returned to Fort 
Snelling witliout iiring a gun at the enemy. General Atkinson 
(juieted the Wiiinebagoes by the execution of their two prominent 
warriors, Ked VAvd and Wckaw, who surrendered. 

During the fall of tliis year, the 5th Kegiment of infantry was 
ordered to Jellerson Uarracks, and after their arrival at that post. 
Colonel Snelling ])roceeded to Washington to settle some accounts, 
and while in that city was seized with inflannnation of the brain 
and died. 

On the 1.3th of February, 182S, Alexis Bailly, trader at New 
Hope, now Mendota, applied for the establishment of a new 
trading post for the "^^^ahpaykootays, on the Cannon River. 

During the winter of 1S2S, Duncan Grahame and Jean Ibunet 
began to cut tindjer on the Chip]>eway Rivei", as l\'rkins Co. 
liad done in 1823. This act being considered an infraction of the 
law, Duncan Campbell was sent to visit the })arties. His instruc- 
tions were in these words : 

•• Indi.vx Aoexcy, St. PKTi:i:s. / 
February 1?.. iS-iS. ( 

" Sui: Tlio enclosed letter yon will, on rcachinp: tlic CMiipiK-way Ivivcr. de- 
liver to ^fr. Duncan Grahame. who i.s re))orted to he enga^^od in trade on iha^ 

You will take every j^ossihle niean«: to inform yourself of thi,< tficf. and re- 
port the circumstances to thi< f)ilice. It is al.^o desiral^lc that you a.^^certain tin; 
number of jiersscMis en^jfap-ed in procu^in^• timber at the .-^anie place, and pai iieu- 
larly at what distance bcdov," the Kalis uf the CliipjU'way. * * * * y[y^ 
Quinn will accou\pany you on the present expcilition. as it is unsafe, from tlu> 
Severity of the sea-ion. to proceed alone." 

During the month of Jime, Sanuiel Gibson, a drover from ]Mis- 
souri, lost his way while driving cattle to Fort Snelling, and he 
abandoned them near Lac-(pii parle. The trader there, I\fr. ]?en- 
ville, took charge of them, and sixty-four head were subsequently 
sold by the Indian Agent's order, for $750, and the money tbr- 
wurded to the imfurtunate drover. 


Tlie winter, spriiiL^ niul simnner of 1829 wore e\cee(linL;]y »li-y. 
For ton months the .'ivcrnue monthly fall of rain and snow wa< 
one inch. Yoj^otation was more hackwaril than it had been i'or 
ten years, and navigation durinir the summer was almost inij>os- 

On the evenim,^ of July 27th, Lieut. IJeynolds arrive<l Avitli a 
keel-])oat of su})plies, hut mu' lia.lf of the load liad to be left at 
Puie Jk'ud before tlie boat could j^ass the bar in that vicinity, and 
sixty days were ()eeu[)ie<l in coming from St. Louis. Tiie arrival 
was most opportune, as the garrison were eating their hist barrel 
of ilour. This summer IFa/.en 3Io^vers came down from Lake 
Traverse, with one hundrc'd and tM'onty-six packs of furs valued 
at twelve thousand (h)llars. 

It was in tliis year the first attempt, in the present cen- 
tury, Vv'as made to establi.-h missions in ^[innesota. 

Li a journal kept at the Fort, under the date of Monday, Aug. 
31st, is this enti*y : 

" The Rev. ]\[r. Coe and Slephens reported to be on their ^vay 
to this post — members of the Presbyterian church, looking out for 
suitable |>laces to make missionary establishments for the Sioux 
and Chii)peways, found schools, instruet in agriculture and the 
arts, etc." 

On tlic first of Seplcmbc r the;-e clergymen arrived and became 
the guests of the Tndi:in Agent, v, ith whom they had fVcipient 
conversations on the propriety of forming a colony in the Chip- 
peway counti-y, and also at the k'alls of St. Anthony, fur the 
Sioux. The Agent explained what stej)S he had tak(m toward 
forming schools. 

On Sunday, Scpti^nber Oth, lve\'. ^Lr. C'ol' preached twice, and 
the next evening hrld a prayi r meeting at the (piarters of tlu"! 
commanding ollicer. lie aI<o })reached on the next Sunday, and 
on Monday, the llth, he and his companion, with a guide, started 
on horseback for the St. Croix ri\ ( r. ]Mr. Taliaferro had ah-eady 
commenced an agri<'uli ural esiabli-hment on Lake Calhoun, which 
lie called F^atonville, and he was very glad to meet with any who 
had tlie welfare of the Iiuiian inxieWjas the following letter 
shows : 


Indian' Agency, St. Pkteu.s, ) 
Scptoiiibcr 8th. 18'2li. )' 

Kkv. Sir : It haviii',-- l.i.on repi osentcil to mc by the Rev. Alvaii Coe, that it 
i< very desirabh-; on the ])art of the Boanl o!" Mi-sious of the Prt shy Icriau Church 
io form an (■.•stablishiiient at this po<t. and aho witliin the heart of the Cliippc- 
wny country bordorinir on the Upper Mississippi, for the i-urposcs of agricul- 
ture, .«;eli0()l.s, and tiic development of the hii:ht and trutlis of tlie Christian re- 
j l.ijj^ion to the unh;ip[>y a}>origines of this va-t wildorncsj;. 

I As my views fully accord in every material ]>oint with those of Messrs. Coo 
; and St(>phcns. I can. in truth, assure the Jk'ard through you, Sir, of my deter- 
' mimjtion lieartily t<i co-operate witli lliem in any and every measure that may 
be calculated to ensure success in the liigldy interesting and important objects 
to which the attention of the society has been so happily directed. 

I liave recommended to the government to a]>point a special sub-agent, to re- 
side at Gull Lake, to superintend the general concerns of the most warlike and 
res[)cctablc i>ortion of all t!ie Cl'.i]>peways of the Mississippi and its tributary 
waters above Lake Pepin., tiiereby to lessen their visits to this Agency, it being 
desirable to prevent tlicir coming in contact too often with tlicir old enemies the 

Sliould the sociery I'^rni a missionary establishment on the waters of the St. 
Croix, some of which comuiunicate with Ivum Kiver of the Mis.-Issippi, and a 
special agent or sub-agcriT. the intluence ol' v/lioni might be necessary to the 
I more cflicicnt operations of the missionary fatnilies tliere located, I have 
I no doubt but that tlu? government wouM be v.-illing to appoint one for the 
: .'Special duty, if rcprL-sented l>y the society, accompanied by explanatory views 
on the subject. 

As to an cstablishn"ient forllie Sioux of tiiis Agency, it would be in tlie power 
: of the society to commence operations, without mucli expense, at the Falls of 
St. Anthony, where there is a good grist and saw mill, with suitable buildings. 
Ht present going to ilecay for ttie want of oecupauts. I would choeri'uUy turn 
over my at present infant colony of agriculturists, together witli their imi)le- 
ments and horses, etc., to such an establisliment. 
1 have the honor to be, Sir, 

Respectfully your most obedient servant, 

Indian Agent at St. Peters, 

Upper Mi.ssisijippi. • 

, Key. Joshua T. Rcs-sell, Secretary Board of Missions Presbyterian Clun-ch, 
Pliiladclphia, Pa. 


COLLi:tT10-NS OF TllK 

Early in September Surgeon U. C. Wood leit the fort on a visit 
to Pi airic dii CLien, ami on the last of the month lie returne<l in 
an o})en boat, with a you.thliil bride by his side, the eldest dau^di- 
ter of L\>\. Zachary Taylor. How a\ onderinl the clninges of a 
generation I Col. Taylor li\ ed to become the President of tlie 
United States. Dr. \l. C. Wood, his son-indaw, is now the Asst. 
Snrgcoii Cic-iR-ral i>\' the United Stales, while Jetiei>on Davi>, 
another son-indaw, nnder the intluencc of and)ition, has become 
Presi'knt tlie States in rebellion, ;md John Wood, a grandvon 
of Taybtr. the ComiMander of the Tallahassee, the noted rebel 

Jn tlu- year l><3o Col. Taylor was one of the Commissioiiei's 
api'ointed to hold an<,>ther treaty wilh tlu^ Indians at Prairie -<ln 
Chien. Foi- >'»mc i-eason the traders threw obstacles in the w ay, 
M'hieh callc*! forth a letter li'om Old Zach," with the>e words, 
"Take the .Vmeric;in ]'ur Coiii})any in the aggreuate, and the\' 
are the greate>t sccanidiels the world ever knew.*" 

Tliis year Jiiere \\ ei e so many «b-unken and licentious Indians 
jonnging arumid the }^>rl that the I'ollowing order was i^.^ued by 
Capt. Gale, the t>t}icer in command: 

IlKA.jgLAiiiEus i'i)i;T JSn'elunl;, June IT, 1830. 

The Ciru.iiiaui.liii,^;" <U1ieer has wiihin a lew inoniitigs past discu\ ered Indian 
women h-aving thv ;^'ari-i»>n iiinuetiiately alter reveille. Tiie praeiiee el :ulniiiuim- 
Indian? iut'.> the Fort to reinain dnrin<j; l!ie ni-hi is strietly iiruhihiied. Xo 
otlicer will heri.-a'rer pa^s any Jn< er Indian.s into the yarrisen without s[)reial 
pernii.-.-ion from the CrMiinianditi.;- t »tVu-er. It is made the duty of the olheer ol' 
the 'lay t" <f'v i\:M tliis otih r is strictly enlnree h 

I'>y <'rd.T ..r CAPT. GALK. 

K. K. AVii.r.i VMS. Lt. and Adj't. 

Tin- next aftei- this ord<'r was read Capt. (^ale receiv(>d the 
followinir letter iVom Major Taliaferro: 

A<;i:n( V Hoi sk. St. PF/iKit.s. June IX, iSiU). 

Snt: .^inee my r( (pie-i i<> ywu ut' ye.-ieiday Id eo-operatc witli me in endeav- 
orinfz to (.■•.•unteraet the vii-ws u[ tlu- ir.ider.s near this post, by excluding all 
Indians iVeui the I'oM, I h.t\-- )>i e<Miie more fully acquainted with other facts 
of a nature ealeulated to en>ure ttieir sneccs.s in preventing- the Indians fruni 
attending the C' -n?,< n.nlatrd tr^^aiy at Prairie du C'iden this .sunuuer. 



Potiitioii'.s band ye>tord;iy received by tlio hand-^ of one of nephews a kog 
of whiskey, and this same band ha« been kept thi-oucrh tlic iu.-triimentahty of tlio 
traders in a state of Cv>ntiiiual (h-uiikcnncss for some time past. 

Xo man can l)e made better aciiuaiiiled with these facts th;iu niyself. 1 shall 
place Mr. Farribanh's V)onJ in suit, as also ifr. Culbcrtson's, the moment ii 
becomes fairly developed as to the course; which has been pursued by them 
rt;spectivcly. I have sent contidcntial persons to all the villages to sec liow the 
Indians gel tlieir whiskey and from whom, and what number arc found drunk 
m each. 

I have again to rcijucst that uo Indians be permitted to enter the Fort for 
j)urposes of trade, as they have done for some time past, for ihey become inso- 
lent, lazy, iuid begin to attcmjjt to take a stand independent of me; consccpieiitly 
notliing short of their entire exclusion from the Fort will efle'ctually correct the 
evil now complained of. 

Mr. CampViell has jus: returned from his expedition to the several bauds of 
Sioux. On iiis passage through their country tliey, upon learning my mess;igo, 
were willing to attend the treaty, but on his return all that lie saw refused to 
accompany him to tliis place, on the ground that an Indian messenger had passed 
just after him stating that the Sioux ouglit not to go down to the Prairie, for if 
they did tliey would bo turned over to tlic Sacs and Foxes by the white peoi-lc 
This report naturally caused the wliole of the band to disperse — their Chiefs 
setting the example. Again, others state tliat as they can get plent}' of whiskey 
from their traders and a little tobacco, that they had uo occasion to go any 
where, and wovdd not go — so that in the brief si)aee of nine nxmths my infl'.ience 
Willi most of the bands has been greatly impaired in consequence of the quanti- 
ties of ^vhiskey which have been given them by the traders. Consequently the 
liumane policy of the Government in regard to these deluded people has thus 
unhappily been interfered with, and this too at a time when it was all important 
for them to h;>ve aecepted of its munilieenee and mediation. 

The disappointment and embarrassment which will be caused the Couimis- 
sioners by the refusal of tlie Sioux to atteml may be uiore easily imagined than 
described, as the treaty cannot well go on witliout tliem, they being m;didy 

I have the honor to bo, very respectfully, your most ob't serv't, 

LAW. TALIAFKKRO, Indian Agent at St. Peters. 
Capt. J. IT. Gale, 1st Infantry, ConnVg Fort Suelling. 
Notwithstanding the inipcJinients tlirown in the way, some 



of the Sioux altt'iided tlie eoiiLri-css o\' trU)c>, and tlie ImMoua- 
kantoinvnns, in a treaty made at tliat time, bestow od oii tln-ir 
lialf-brced relatives tlu' country about Lake Pe])in know n as 
" halt-breed tract." 

After the .Vgent and delegation of Sioux w ent to Pi-airit.- du 
Cliien, a ncpliew of I/ittle Crow, with iiftecn or tw enty of tlu' Ka- 
posia band, went to the St Croix and killed Cadotte, a halt-breed, 
and tln-ee or four Chippeways. 

Jjelbre daylight, on the morning of August 14th, I80O, a >r:(.'nti- 
nel discovei-ed the Indian council liouse on lire, and gave the I'lai in. 
but it Avas soon entii-uly consumed. The afternoon before >omc 
drunken Indians Cxime o\ er from ]\fr. ]>ailly\s trading house, and 
used abusive language. 

On the 11th of Se]»lend.)er, ]\[rs. Fai'ibault's brot]ier,^an Indian, 
came to the Agent, and voluntarily informed liim that Iti^ uncle, 
who married AVapaslnnv's daughter, was the person A\'ho bui iied 
the council house. ^ 

This year the agricultural colony of Sioux at Lake Calhoun, 
■named Eat<"»nville, wa> under tlie superintendence of Philander 
Prescott, wlio wa^^ nnu-dered by tlie Sioux in tlie massacre of 

During' the }'ear 1 s:n, there was another arrival of emigrants 
from Selkirk's settlenR'iit. On the twenty-fifth of July, tw enty 
■ of tlioso unf >rtun:ite cohuusts came to the Fort, baving been in- 
formed that the I''niled States w ould give them fvi'ming im}»ie- 
ments and land near the post. 

Jose]»li li. lirow II this year had a triuling house at Land's End. 
a mile abo\ e the l-'oi (, en the 3[innesota. 

About the la-t nf .luly, tbrly Sauks i)a.>scd into the Sioux coun- 
try, betw een the heud w aters of the Cannon and l>lue Earth i-i\-er>. 
where they met and killed se\ eral Sioux, at a plaee called Cint:i- 
gah, or (irey 'l';iil. n.>t far iVom whei-e the Sauks and Sisset<.ti^ 
had fought in 1m'- and is •_':). 

Dming this summei-. Captain W. \l. Jouett was in comman^l at 
Fort Snelling. 

On the ITlh of Au'.:u>t. Poeipie and his s-.n arrived at the Fort, 
twentv-six davs in eominu- from Prairie du Chien. Kendered ob- 


41 by wlilskcy, or some otlier cause, they crossed the Mississippi 
ut Hastings, and ascended the St. Croix and were filtcen days 
lost. Meeting *soinc Chij)pcways at hast, they were turned back 
and shown the right course. 

On the 18tli of September, 3Iessrs. Dallam, Brisbois and Joseph 
Iv. Brown arrived, having come through from Prairie du Chien by 
land, an unusual thing at that time. 

Althougli Illinois and Wisconsin settlers were much alarmed in 
1832 by the Black Hawk war, there was comparative quiet in the 
vicinity of Foi t Snelling. A few ofWapashaw's band united 
with the wliites, and assisted in capturing the fugitives after the 
battle of Bad Axe. 

The first steamboat that arrived at Fort Snelling this year was 
the Versailles, on May 12th, and she was succeeded by the Enter- 
prise, on June 27th. 

Eatonville colony, on Lake Calhoun, which commenced with 
twelve Indians, had increased to one hundred and twenty-five, and 
a good deal of corn was i)lanted. 

During the summer, the Sioux found the corpse of a white man 
near the second fork of the J3es Moines river. He Avas tall, light- 
liaired, dressed in a blue coat, black silk vest, and greyish j^anta- 
loons. The Indians took his watch, and about twenty dollars in 
silver, to Alexander Faribault. 

On the 10th of June, Wm. Carr and three drovers, arrived at 
the Fort from ^Missouri, witli eighty head of cattle, and six horses 
for the use of the troops. 

At the urgent solicitation of Mr. Aitkin, the trader, in this year 
Mr. Ayer, now of Belle Prairie, went to Sandy Lake and opened a 
mission school for Chippeway children. In 1833 the Rev. W. T. 
lioiitwell, who now resides near Stillwater, established a mission 
station at Leech Lake. 

In the year 1834, Samuel W. and Gideon II, Pond arrived, and 
offered their services for the benefit of the Sioux, and were sent 
out to the Agent's agricultural colony on Lake Callioun. This 
year also Henry II. Sibley took charge of trading post at ^len- 




Diiriiifr thcmoiitli of May, 1835, tlie Rev. Mr. Williainsoii, M.D., 
arrived at Fort Siiclling. with his family and assistants, to establish 
a Sionx mission, and, on tlie second Sahl>atli in Jnne, a Presbyte- 
rian ehnreh was orii:anized in one of the company rooms of tlie 
Fort, and the saci-ament of tlie Lord's Snp]>cr was administered 
to twenty-t\\'0 [)ei->ons, and Captain, now Coh^nel Gnstavus 
Loomis, of tlie army, was elected one of the session of the churcii. 

Ill the year 1835, 3[ajor J. L. Bean commenced the survey of 
the Sioux and Chippeway boundary line, under the treaty of 1S25. 
A military escort, undc-rLt. AVm. Storer, aceom[ianied him, an«l 
lie proceeded as far as Otter Tail Lake, but the Indians were very 
troublesome, and constantly juilled up the stakes. 

Alexis ]>ailly having been found guilty of furijishing Indians 
Avith whisky, was forced to leave the post m .June, with his family, 
and Mr. Sibley became his successor at Mendota. 

On the 23d of .Tune Dr. Williamson and family, and Alexander 
G, ITuggins, mission farmer, left the Fort for Lac-(|ui-parle, in 
company with .Joseph Renville, sen. 

Tlie next day a long-expected steamboat, the Warrior, arrived 
with supplies and a pleasure party. Among the passengers ^\'ere 
Captain Day and Lieut. Beech, of the army, Catlin, the artist, and 
wife, General G. W. .lones, J. Farnsworth, 3[rs. Felix St. Vrain, 
]\[isses Farnsworth, Crow, .lohnsc^n, and others. 

On the 3d of .Jul}' ?>rajo]- Taliaferro, as justice of the peace, 
united in marriage ITi])polite l^rovost and Margaret Brunell. 

Colonel Kearney, with a detachment of 200 dragoons, passed 
thi'ough the southern part of ^finne^ota during this month. 

On the IGth the Warrior again arrived at the Fort, and among 
the passengei'S were (Icn. Rol)ert Fatterson, sister and daughter 
from Philadelphia. On the 27th Catlin, the }>ainter, left in a bark 
canoe, with one soldiei-, foi- Pi airic du Chien. On the last day of 
.Inly, a train of lied River emigrants arrived with some fifty ur 
sixty liead of cattle, and twenty or twenty-five horses. Licut 
Ogden, Rev. Stevens, of Lake Harriet, and ^[r. Sibley pur- 
chased some of the horses. Including tlii> party, since 1.^21, four 
lumdred and eighty-nine person^ from Selkirk Colony had arrived 



at tlic Fort, while a few, Abraliaiu Pony and otlicr.^, bccanu- 
fanners in the vicinity. Tlio niajorily went down to Galenay 
Yevay, and otiier points in Illinois and Indiana. 

On tlie 20th of July the Indian Agent married Sophia Perry to 
u Mr. Godfi-ey. 

jNfichael Kilcole, an Ii-ishman, and Joseph Vespnli, on tlieir way 
from Ped Piver, had their three yoke of oxen stolen by the Little 
Papids Indians. As they had large fan\ilies, ^Injor Taliaferro 
circulated a subscription paper in their behalf, and obtained tlie 
following names and sums : 

Major Bliss, 85; Law. Taliaferro, -s3; Major Loomis, 83; Capt. 
Day, 82; P. F. Baker, 82 ; X. W. Kittson, 81 ; Lieut. Ogden, 82. 

If the Indians had not been made drunk by the whisky of nn- 
principled traders, the robbery would not have been committed. 

On the 12th of September, the geologist, Feathcrstonhaugh, ar- 
rived. His actions were those of a conceited, ill-bred English- 
man, and the book he afterwards published hi London, called 
" A Canoe Voyage up the Minnay Sotor," proved that he was 
destitute of the instincts of a refnied gentleman. 

On the 2Gth of November, Col. S^ambangh, the new sutler for 
the post, arrived. 

The following conversation took place at the headquarters of 
Major ]]liss, on December 7th: 

Major ]jliss said, " It was his opinion that a treaty was in con- 
tem])lation with the Sioux for a cession of land, a large body east 
of the Mississi])pi, governed by the boundary Une between the 

To which the Indian .\gent reidied : 

" T feel confident there is and has been such a plan in contem- 
plation, although nevei- ofheially made known to me, but the main 
object of such a }>urchase would be to place the AVimiebagoes 
on the West and not I'ast of the ^[ississippi. Therefore if a 
treaty be in contem})lation at all, it will have for its object the 
l>urchase of :dl the Sioux country, from the cession of ]S3u, to 
strike a point from the Jlod Cedar on to the head waters of the 
Torre P>lue Piver, tlience to the waters of tlic Piver des Canons, 



and following said river to its mouth; tlience with the Mississij>))i 
river to the line of eession of 1830 ; or it may be varied so as to 
touch the River des Moines, Terre Blue and Cannon Rivers." 

Major Rliss added : " I hear many letters have been written for 
the purpose of effecting the object we speak of, and I shall not 
be surprised to see a coniniissioner arrive here next spring." 

The Agent rej)lied to this, " I do not know but such a treaty 
might take place. It is desirable, on the part of the traders of 
the American Fur Company, that a treaty should be had with the 
Sioux. The treaty of J 830 first indicated a disposition to cause 
the United States to pay them for lost credits. I then defeated 
their object, for I view the allowance of all such claims as a fi-aud 
committed upon the Treasury, although legalized by a treaty. 
The com])any are much opposed to me on this ground and fetn* 
me, and would be glad to have me out of the country. I know 
too much, and they are fully aware of my independence. I am 
determined at some future day, Major, to address the President. 
He abhors iniquity and deception, and he will protect me." 

In the month of February, 183G, Fanny, daughter of Abraham 
Perry, wlio had emigrated from Selkirk Settlement, was married 
to Charles Musseau, being the fifth couple that had been united in 
marriage by Mr. Taliaferro. 

The winter of 1S3G proved very severe to cattle. J. ]>. Fari- 
bault lost twenty head, Joseph R. Brown, seven, H. 11. Sibley, 
seven, L. Taliaferro three, and Josejjh Perry ten. 

The first steamboat that arrived in 183G Avas the Missouri Ful- 
ton, on the eighth of ^lay. ]\[ajor Bliss left in this boat, and Col. 
Davenport succeeded as commanding oflicer of the Fort. 

On the 29th of ^lay, the steamboat Frontier, Captain Harris, 
was at the Fort, the second arrival of the season. 

On June 1st, the Palmyra cam?, with some thirty ladies and 
gentlemen passengers. On the second of July the St. Peters 
came up and landed supplies. Among tlie passengers was Mr. 
Nicollet, the French astroiiomer, and several ladies from St. Louis, 
on a pleasure tour. Mr. Nicollet, who liad come for scientific 
purjK)ses, was kindly furnished with a room in Mr. Taliaferro's 



liuuso, and n tVienclship was forinccl tliat lasted until tlie deatli of 
tlie former. Tlic Indian Agent has tlie following entry in his 
.l(>u!'nal, under date of July rith: 

''Mr. Xicollet, on a visit to the post for scientific research, and 
at pi-esent in my family, has shown me the late work of Henry R. 
Schoolcraft, on the discovery of the source of the !Mississi])pi, 
which claim is ridiculous in the extreme." 

On the 17th, Duncan Campbell, Sr., arrived from the foot of 
Lake Pepin, and i-eported that all hut twenty-seven of Wapashaw's 
hand had died from small-pox. 

On the 27th, Xicollet left the Agency for the sources of the 
]\lississi])pi. Just before his departure he gave Mr. Taliaferro an 
original letter of AVashington to Elias Boudinot, dated August 2^4, 
1 795, and giving reasons for not attending the funeral of Mr. 

On the 30th of July, a party of mounted Sac and Fox Indians 
killed twenty-four "Winnebagoes on Root river. They were 
descending the stream on their way to LaCrosse, and were 
completely surprised. 

On the 12th of September, at the house of Oliver Cratte, near 
the Fort, James AA'clls, subsequently a member of the Minnesota 
Legislature, was united in marriage to Jane Graham, a daughter 
of Duncan Graham. The ceremony was performed by Major 

On the 2Sth, Xicollet arrived from the Upper Mississippi. 

On October Oth, Inspector General Croghan, U. S. A., came to 
the Fort on an othcial visit, and the next night the Thespian 
company played in his presence " Monsieur Tonson," and the 
''Village Lawyer." 

On the Oth, a small steamboat came up with stores for the 

The following table will give S)me idea of the profits of the 
Indian trader in the year 183G : 







1 llFcG pi. iililTiKCL. . ..^^.^ 


CO Kat Skins at 20 cents, 

oi - 



I ( ( ; 

J Z 

y ii-> 

1 A* W Pim it 



It 11 



(1 k ; 


1 Ih Pnwdpr 



(I (I 



1 72 


I ; I ( 





It k '• 

80 ' 


1 lb. Tobacco 



11 k ( 


1 '10 



k ( 1 1 



1^ yd. Scarlet Cloih. . ?, 



11 I ( 



9 On 

In the month of November a Mr. Pitt Avent witli a boat and a 
party of men to the Falls of St. Croix to cut pine timber. The 
Chippewavs <iave the eonsent, but the agreement was not sanc- 
tioned by tlie Ignited States authorities. 

On Tuesday, the 20th of Xovember, at the quarters of Capt. T. 
Barker, U. S. A., Alphens li. French, of Xcav York, was maiTied 
to Mary Ann Henry, of Ohio. 

On the 30th of December, there was an examination of the 
Mission Scliool at Lake Harriet. Henry H. Sibley and ^Lijor 
Taliaferro were a[>}»(»iiited examiners. Among others in attend- 
ance were ^lajor Looiuis, Lt. Ogden, and their families, and 
Surgeon Emerson. 

In 1837 the Agi'iit at Foi't Snelling was instructed to organi/.e 
a reliable deK-gativ>n of Indians, tr» proceed to AVashington, under 
orders from Cien. Henry Dodge, Sui)erhitendent of Indian Aftairs, 
for the purp-'-c of talking over the ])ropriety c^f selling the hinds 
owned by tlie Si<»ux east of the Mis.^issippi. INIiles Vineyard, 
sub-agent, wa-- also dispatched to invite the Chi}>})eways to a 
council near I\»rt Snelling, with the Conunissionei'S, Gen. Wm. 
H. Smith of I'a., :uid Oen. Dodge of Illinois. In a little wliile 
1200 C]iii'i>eways were at tlie 1m. i i, to meet Gen. Dodge. A treaty 
was concluded, but ii<»t witlu.uit some stirring incidents. Two 
}>rominent tr;idei > entered the Agency oiVice in apparent liaste. 
and asked f>r jini- and iKijier. Some one retiu-ned and handed t" 
]\rr. Van Antwi rp, Secretary «>f the Coimnissioner, a claim for the 
mills (.11 the ( 'liii»iie\\ :»y river. Tlie amoimt asked wa^ 'Sr),U()(). 


The IiuliMus were siii-prised at the palpable iVaiul. One Cliicf, for 
flie sake of peace, was willing to allo\s' -soOO for tluit which liad 
been of no benclit to them, but old IIole-in-the-Day ami others 
objected even to this. 

Soon after yelling was heard in the direction of Baker's (l ading 
jiost at Cold Sja'ing, and it was learned that Warren, the father of 
Wni. Warren, the Anglojibway that died at St. Paul several years 
ago, was marcliing down with some liowling red devils to force 
the Commissioner to allow ^Varren ^20,000. As they rushed 
into the treaty-arbor Mr. Taliaferro pointed a pistol at Warren, 
and IIole-in-the-Day said, " Shoot, my father." Gen. Dodge 
begged him to stop, and the affair ended by the insertion of 
^20,000 in the treaty as Warren wished. 

The treaty Avith the Cliippeways being concluded, Gen. Dodge 
directed the Agent to select a delegation of Sioux and proceed to 

TIic traders attempted to prevent the departure of the Sioux 
until they made a promise that they would provide for their 
indebtedness to the traders. The Agent, keeping his own counsel, 
engaged a steamboat to be at the landing on a certain day. Capt. 
Lafferty was prompt, and to the astonishment of the traders, the 
Agent, Interpreters, arid a part of the delegation were quickly on 
board, and gliding down the river. Stopping at Kaposia, they 
leceived Big Thunder and his pipe bearer; at Red Wing, AVah- 
koota and his war chief came aboard; and at Winona, Wapashaw 
and Etuzepah were added, making in all a delegation of twenty- 

Without accident they reached Washington, and a synopsis of 
a treaty that might be agreeable to the Indians was presented to 
Secretary Poinsett. 

The Fur Company was there, rei>resented by IT. 11. Sibley, 
Alexis Bailly, Latraml)oise, Rocque, Labuthe, Alexander and 
Oliver Fai-ibault; and on the 20tli of September, 1837, a treaty 
was signed, by whicli the [)ine forests of the valley of the St. Croix 
and tributaries were rendered accessible to the white man, and 
thus a foundation laid for the organization of the future Territory 
of Minnesota. 



The delegation returned ]»y >\'ay of St. Louis, und the steamer 1 
Rolla was chartered to carry theiu l)aek to Fort Snellinj^. On tlic I 
trip one of tlie boiler^* colhipsed, Imt fortunately no one was seald- • 
ed, and on the lOtli of Xovenihcr the party was landed in safety 
at the Fort. 

On the 25th of 3Iay, 1838, the steamboat l^urlinLcton arrivc-d 
with public stores. Among the passenger.s were J. X. Nicolk't. 
J. C. Fremont and others, on iin exploring expedition. 

On June 0th, ti delegation of Sioux from Ivaposia came up to tlu- 
Agency and com])lained that two men, Peter Perrout or Parraut 
and old man l^erry, had located on their hinds east of the ^Iissi>- 
sippi, and wished them ordered away until the treaty was ratified. 
They also stated that Parant (known to early settlers on Pigs" 
Eye) had located below the cave and sold Avhisky. 

On the 10th, Pev. Mr. Riggs of Lac-cpii-[>arle preached to the 
troops at the Fort. 

On the evening of the 13th, the steamboat Burlington, C'a}>tain 
Throcknioi (on, again arrived with a large lunnber of passengers. 
Among others Ca|)t. ^laryatt, of tlie British Xavy, and the jiopu- 
lar novelist. ANo, Gen. -\.tkir;Son and Lieut. Alexan<ler, .\. 1). C, 
on a tour of inspection ; Dr. and ^frs. Elwees, U. S. A., Penj. F. 
Baker, P^ranklin Steek\ Miss Sibley, ,Miss E. j>. llooe, of Va,. 
etc. The next day the whole paity rode out to the Falls of St. 

On tlie 15th, tlie steamboat Ib-azil, Ca}>t. Snnth, was at tiie 
landing, and the tlien novel siglit was presented of /^r<9 steamboats 
at the Fort at tlie ^a/ue time. The family of Gov. Podge eame 
U}> on the latter. 

On the -JOth, the steamboat Ariel airived from St. Lonis, uud ;» 
Mr. ln'el)e, one of the passenger^, said that the Senate had ratilied 
the treaty. 

On the I'.^th, the Burlington com[»!eted its third ti ip this season, 
and 1.)rought up 140 recruits for the 5th Infantry. 

On the evening of 0th of July, ihei-e was a v iolent storm, and as 
John r>. Raymond, an c>ld man sixty-live years of age, was looking 
out from the door of Peter (^uinj», near Gold Water, he was 

:mixxksoia iiisToniCAL society. 40 

iii-l;i!i(ly killed riu;lilninL!:. lit' was buried in llie grn\ eyaid oJ' 
the F(»rt (lie next day. 

'I'lie 15th ofJuly was an evenlCnl day At tlie Foi-t, caused by the 
ai'riv.'d oftlie l^alniyra with an. ollieir.i notice of the ratilieation of 
the treaty. 

On board of tlie boat were some uf tlie now old settlers of 
3rinne>ota, who i)itched tlieir tent-; at ^larinc r>I.ills and the Falls 
of St. Croix. Oflieers of the Fort raid otliers al>o now made 
claims at. Prescott and Falls of St. Anthony. 

On the 2Sth Ca;)t. Boone, v.'llli lifty or sixty dra.L>-oons, arrived 
i'rom Fort Lc'a\'en-A'.)rt]i, havi;;-- been ' forty-five days in nuLkiiiii- 
the joiii'Dey, and in >nrveyin_!j; tlie route for a road from post to 
post. Capt. Canfield of tiio To])0ii-raphicai Fn._;dnecr.>, and Lieut, 
'i'ilglnmin \\'ere al-o mc nd>crs of tiie Cv)mmission, 

On the 2d of August, IIole-in-ilic-Day, who ]n"'.d killed tliirtecn 
of tlie Lac-qui-parle Sioux, came to the Foi-t, T.\ ith a few Cliij^pe- 
ways, much to the regret of the ollicer in command, ^^.lajor 
]'*lynipton. The next evening Mr. Samuel 'W. Pond met the 
Agent at Lake Harriet, and told him that a number of armed 
Sioux, from Tdiid Lake, bird gone to Baker's trading house, to at- 
tack the Chippeways. The Agent immediately hastened toward 
tlie spot, and reached the house just as the first gun Avas fired. 
An Ottowa Indian, of IIole-in-tho-Day's pai-ty, was killed, an-l 
one wounded. Of the Sioux, Tokali\*=; son was shot by Obe<paette, 
of Red Lake, just as lie was scalping liis victim. The Chipi)e- 
ways were, as soon as possible, removed to the Fort, and at nine 
o'clock at night one Sioux was confined in the guarddiouse as a 

The next day I\Lijor Plympton and the Indian Agent dfter- 
mined to hold a council with the Sioux. The principal men ot 
the neigliboring villages soon assembled. Several long speetdies, 
as usual, were made, wlien ^Lijor Plym[>ton said : 

" It is unnecessary to talk nuich. I have demanded the guilty 
— they must be brought.*" 

They replied they would. The Council broke uj), and at 5;} 

I'.M. the i)arty returned to tiu- Agency, witli Tokali's two stjns. 



With Tiiuch ceremony they were delivered. The motlier, in sui*- 
rendering tlieni, said : " Of seven sons tlirec only are left; oiieot' 
them was wounded, and soon would die, and if the two now given 
up were shot, her all was gone. I called on the head men to fol- 
low me to the Fort. I started with the prisoners, singing th»'ir 
death-song, and liave delivei-ed them :it the gate of the Foi-t. 
Have mercy on them for their youth and folly." 

Notwithstanding the murdered Chippe\\ ay liad been buried in 
the graveyard of the Fort for safety, an attempt was made un the 
night of the council, on the part of some of the Sioux to dig it up. 

On the evening of the Gth, 3fajor Plympton sent the Chip[>e- 
ways across the river to the east side, and ordered them to go 
home as soon as possible. 

Major Plynipton told the Sioux that the insult to the ling must 
be noticed, and iftliey would punish the prisoners he would release 

The council re-assembled on the 8th, and ]Marci»uah INIahzali, 
chief of Lake Pepin band, said, " If you will bring out the pris- 
oners I will carry your views fully into effect." 

Lieut. Whitehorne, olllcer of the day, was accordingly sent to 
brijig the prisoners, and soon returned with them. The Chief 
then said : 

" We will not disgrace the house of my father. Let them be 
taken outs'ule the enclosui-e." As soon as this was d«;)ne his 
braves wci'c called, and, amid the crying of the women, the 
prisoners were disgraced; their blankets were cut in small pieces, 
then their leggings and breech-cloths; after this their hair was 
cut oi\\ anil, linally, they W(M-e whipped with long sticks, a most 
Inmiiliating inflicliou for ;i warrior to endure. 

The aflair being salisraclorily settled, the Indians quietly dis- 

On the ICtli of August, Franklin Steele, ^Ir. Livingston and 
others, came around from the Falls of St. Croix in a barge. Jean 
F. Nicollet, with his asi^tants, Fi-emont and Ceyer, returned to the 
post on the -J^th from explorations of the )>lains towards the ]\ris- 



- CommissioiHM'.s Pease and Ewiiig arrive in the steamboat 
Ariel, on tlie 27tli, aii<l sit as a board to examine half-breed claims 
and determine on alleged debts dne tlie traders, lieturning to 
St. Lonis, the Ariel came back again on September 29th, with 
Indian goods, and 8110,000 for the half-breed Sioux, and then 
made a trip up tlie St. Croix river. 

Kicollet came back to tlie Fort from a second exi)editiou this 
season, on the 17th of October. 

Mrs. Perry came to the Agency on the 18th, and com])lained 
that the day before some of Wapashaw's band, at her house, just 
below the stone cave, now in the suburb of the city of St. Paul, 
attacked and killed three of her cattle. They did not like to see 
])ersons settle and prosper on lands that they had so recently 

The Perry family were Swiss, who came down from Selkirk 
Settlement. Tlic old man first settled near the Fort and became 
a great cattle raiser. As they constantly broke into the govern- 
ment gardens he was ordered away, but permitted to locate on 
the East side of the river. The ladies of the Fort did not wish 
liim too far distant, as Airs, Perry had distingished herself in the 
region round about as an expert " accoucheur.'''' One of lur 
daughters married James Clewett, and another was married to a 
man named Crevier. 

The steamer Gi[)sy came up to the Fort on the 21st with Chi}i- 
j)eway goods. For the sum of 8450 it was then chartered to cari-y 
these goods to the Falls of St. Croix. 

In j)assing U|) the lake, the boat grounded near the new town 
site, called Stambaugh\i11e, after the })redecessor of Franklin 
Steele in the sutlership of Fort Snelling. On the afternoon of the 
20th the Falls wei-e reached and goods landed. 

The increased arrival of steaml)oats in 1830, indicated that the 
eoiinti-y was in a transition state. 

The first boat of the season was the .Vriel, Cajitaiii kyoii, that 
re;iehed the fort as eai'ly as April 14th. Twenty bari'els of w hivky 
were brought in her for Jose)>h P. Prown, who had li\ (Ml at (^rey 
Cloud Island. 



On .AJay 2d tlio Gipsy, Captain Gi'cy, came up, l)iinLrinL,' a chap- 
lain for the Fort, tlie Ivev. E. G. Gear, who continued tlicre until 
the i)Ost was disbanded. 

Tlie steamboat Fayette followed on the 11th, and after landing" 
sutler's stores, proceeded with several persons of intelligence an«l 
character, connected with lumber companies, for the Falls of St. 

On the 21st, the Glaucus, Captain Atchison, made its appeai-- 
ance. On its way it left six barrels of whiskey for D. Faribault, 
about the site of the city of St. Paul. The soldiers managed t<,> 
obtain some and become mutinous, and many were put in the 

Years before this Mr. Faribault, sen., on one 22d of February, 
is said to have received from Sei-geant Mann -^80 lor a gallon of 

The Pennsylvania, Capt. Stone, arrived from Pittsburgh on ' 
June 1st, and among her j^assengers were Inspector Genei-al Wool 
and Major Hitchcock, both of whom have been in the service in 
crushing the present rebellion, with the rank of Major General. 

The Glaucus made her second trip from St. Louis on the 5th of 

The next day came the Ariel, bringing provisions for the Sioux. 

On the 3d of June a party of soldiers went to Joseph R. Brown's 
groggery on the east side of the river, and as a consequence no 
less than forty-seven were confined in the guard house that night 
for drunkenness. 

On the afternoon of the 12th, Pev. Mr. Gavin, the Swiss mis- 
sionary among the Sioux, was married to 3Iiss C. Stevens, teacher 
of the Lake Harriet Mission School. 

Hole-in-the-Day, father of the present chief of that name, 
arived at the Fort with live hundred of his tribe on the 20th, and 
on the next day seven hundred and fifty more Chippeways came. 
At the same time there were eight liundred and seventy Sioux at 
the Agency. The steaml)oat Ivnickerbocker landed on the 25t]i 
and discharged goods for P. F. Paker, Sutler at the Post, an<l 
was followed on the next day V\v the Ariel, with stores for the Fur 



Company. 3Ir. Sinclair, oT Sclkiik settlunK-nt, witli a liaiu ot 
lorty or lifty carts, containini;' emigrants Ironi the IJcd River ul 
the Xorlli, encamped near the Vovt on the 2'7th ofJnne. 

On board of the Ariel came a })as.Nenger l)y the name of Libley, 
who, in detiance of law, sold a barrel of whisky to S. Campbell, 
I'. S. Interj)reter, and another to A. Leclerc. The resnlt was that 
])utli Sioux and Chipi)eways were drunk tlie next night. 

J]isho]) Lozas of Iowa came up from Dubu<pie, and made a])j;li- 
♦•ation to build a small Itoman Catholic cha])el near the Fort about 
this i)eriod. 

On July 1st, the Swiss and Cliippeways, at tlie Falls of St. 
Antliony, smoked the ])ipG of peace, and the latter proceeded 

Some of the Pillager band of Cliippeways remained behind, and 
})assing over to Lake Harriet secreted themselves until after sun- 
rise on July 2d, when tlicy surprised Meekaw or Badger, a good 
Sioux Indian, on his way to hunt, and killed and scalped him. 
The Rev. J. D. Stevens of Lake Harriet brought the news to the 
Fort. Tlie excitement was intense among the Sioux, and imme- 
ately one hundred and fifty warriors hurried after the Chii)i)eways 
that liad gone up the Mississii)pi, and another party soon followed 
after a second band of Cliippeways, who with Mr. Aitkin had left 
llie Fort the morning before to go to La Pointe by way of the St. 
Ci-oix river. 

On the 3d an action took place in the ravine near Stillwater, 
and also near Rum river portage. The losses of the Chip})eways 
at the first place were twenty-one killed and twenty-nine wounded, 
and about ninety killed and M ounded on Rum river. 

The Rev. Thos. W. Pope, ^lethodist missionary, at Kni)0sia, 
left on the IGth, and was succeeded by the Rev. Jno. Ilolton. 

Major Taliaterro now sent in his resignation as Indian Agent, to 
lake effect at the close of tlie year. 

The steandjoat Ariel came up to the Fort on the 1 7th, and was 
followed by the ^lalta on the 22d, with the annuity goods for the 
Sioux. Among the i)assengers were Lt. Sibley, since Gen. Sibley 
of the rebel army, Lt. Marcy, now Insj)ector General U. S A., 



with their families, Geii. Hunt an<l family, Mi'. ]McCall of Pliila- 
dclpliia, and otlier gentlemen. The evening of the day of the- 
.'inival of the Malta, at the (}uaiters of Cai)t. A. S. Ilooe, 'Mv. 
T>ainbridge was married to Miss Ilooe of Virginia. 

On the 2 tth, tlic^Malta Avent round to Lake St Croix, for tlie 
l)assengers to visit the late battle ground in the ravine, whei-e the 
Minnesota Penitentiary is now situated. 

During the month of August the water iu the river was so K>w 
that Louis ^Lartin, tlie farmer for Grey Iron's band, drove his 
team doAVji the bed of the ii\ er from the Fort to the trading post 
rt ]\[endota, 

Xotwithstauding the low stage of water the light draught 
steamer Ariel reaehcd the landing on the 15th of August. 

A few days after this an order was received by Major Plym})ton 
defining the limits of the military reservation around Foi't Snelling. 

On the 8th of September some Sioux crossed over to the east 
side of the ]\[ississi]>pi and desti*oyed the groggery on the military 
Tcservation owned by Jos. P. Prown, Henry Mink, a foreigner, 
and Anderson, a (piarter breed Sioux. 

The steamer Pike arrived on the 0th with ninety recruit^, and 
again on the 17th with ninety-five more. 

About the middle of Soptend)er. an Irishm:in by the nanu' o\' 
Hays was re}»orte<l missing. He l)oarded with Phalan, in a log 
cabin near the junction of the present Hill and Eagle streets, in 
St. Paul, which was the second edifice erected on the site of the 
future capital of ^linnesoia. 

As Hays some nutiiey, and his al)^ence was not satisfac- 
torily accounted for by his partner Phalan, sus})icion settled on 
the latter. 

On the -22(1 of September Nicollet and Lt. J. C. Fremont arrixcd 
from Devil's Lake. 

Some Tndian> came to the .\gc ncy on the 27th, and said that 
Hays, supi»(<sed t<» be i(.-t, \\ a» <lead and in the river near Carver's 
cave. The f tllowing iioh v\ as receivcvl by the commanding oflicer 
f»f the l'V)rt relative to the bods : 



AuENCY House, St. Peters, Sept. 27, 1839. 

M.vJOir. J have sunt iho boarcr, a good Indian, to go with tlic gentlemen wlio 
are in quest of tlie identity of Mr. Hays' body, now in tlie water near Carver's 
(lid cave. The Indian will conduct ilicm to the spot, being so directed by hi.s 
Thief, if re(iuested so to do. 

Very respectfully, your most ob't scrv't, 

LAW. TALIAFERRO, Indian Agent. 

Major J. Plymptox, [T. S. A. Comd'g Fort Snelliug. 

On examination of the body, liis licad, jaws andnosc were foiuid 
tVnctnredj indiealing a violent deatli. The next day Plialen was 
hroiiglit before Ilem-y 11. Sibley, Justice of the Peace at ^lendota, 
and examined as to liis knowledge of the cause cf the death of 
John Hays. He was confined in Crawford county pi'ison for some 
lime, but as tliere were no witnesses against him he was at last 
<liscliarged, and coming bade made a claim on the lake east of St. 
I'aul, wliich to this day is called by his name. 

On the 5th of October Henry C. Mink, one of the whisky sellers 
that prowled around on the east side of the river, having obtained 
an illegal appointment as special de})Uty sheriff for Clayton comity, 
Iowa, went and arrested ]\Iajor Taliaferro while sick, at tlie 
iustauce of a low fellow by the name of Chirtt, on the fiilse chai-ge 
of aiding in destroying a whisky cabin. 

AVhen the knowledge of this outrage reached the commanding 
otUcer, a detachment was sent over to Henry C. Mink, who was 
an unnaturalized citizen as well as an intruder on the military 
reserve, and he was ordei-ed to leave the country forthwith. The 
l)arefaced scamj), in an esting the Agent sur[»rised him in Jiis 
morning dre^s, threw him on the llooi, [)laced his knee on his 
stomach and tiien presented a [»istol to the .Vgent's ear. 

On the eighth of October, the .steamer Des Moines appeared 
with Indian goods. 

The impudent conduct of the whisky sellers between the Fort 
and the site of the }>resent city of St. Paul, was made known to 
the AVar Department, but that vei-y month Mr. Poinsett, then 
Secretary of Wisconsin, directed the V. S. Marshal of Wisconsin 
t<i remove all intruder^ on the land recently reserved for military 



|)iiri»us('s opposite to llic i>obl, on tlic ca-l side of llic river; niul 
sliuuUl tlK'V delay l>eyt»u<l a reasttnaljlu tline, he was aiilliorized l'> 
call upon the eoiiiniauiler ol'tlie post, iuraid. .Ml vvinler Avas gi\ en 
to tlie squatters l(» prepare, aiul tlie next spring thde heing a 
l)Osition to An-tlu-r proe.rastinate, on tlic Gtli of ^fay, 1S40, tin- 
troops were called out, and the cabins destroyed to pre^•enl i-e- 

Tlie s«piatters then I'ctreated to the nearest point bo!ov\" the 
military rcser\'e, and tlicre tliey ])eca7nc the ingloriuus Ibundcr^ <.»t' 
a hamlet, whicli v. as sliorlly graced with the small loji.ian Cath;*- 
lic cha])el of" SaiiU Paul, tlie name of \\hieh is retained l.'y tin 
thi'itty capital of ?>[imie>ota, wh.ieh has emerged from the grc-ggc- 
ries of eertrtin Iv \vd fellows of tlu* baser ^ort.'' 

VTl' could cniitiiiue these rcmL:;i>eenecs to the year of U\c or- 
ganization of Miimesota, but thei'c arc nnmy still living who ai'c 
better jUMjuaintcd with reeerit events then the writ.'r, and lie pi*c- 
fers to leave the task to some (ither pen. 



To the Editors of the St. Paul rre.<s. 

It is known by many persons in Minnesota, that for many years 
l)revions to tlie Sioux outbreak, James AV. Lynd was engaged in 
the proj)aration of a work on the North American Indians, e>i»e- 
! eially tliose of the Dakota family. This was in sucli a state of 
j preparation tliat tlie winter l)ofore liis violent death, he exjiected 
to liave liad it publisheth 

The manuscript Inis 1)een found in a somewhat deranged con- 

'; ]>earing date I'oit Kidgk-y, Jan. G, 18G4, I received a letter 
from Captain L. AV. Slieplierd. lie says : " I have brietly to 
state that in the course of the spring of ISCo, an enlisted man wlio 
was employeil under my direction, at the Lower Sioux Agency 
saw miU, there or near Litth^ Crow's vihage, found six bimdles of 

! m.muscriitt History of tlie Dakotas and other North American 
Indians, ^\•hich he gave to me, and I yet ha\ e in my possession, 
^lany pages seem to be gone. He said some of the same soldiers, 
uiuler the mistaken idea tliat it was valueless, used the same for 

j c'.oaniuL!,- arms." 



In reply to this letter I suggested tliat the manuscript he placed 
in the rooms of tlie Minnesota Historical Society, suhject to the 
i-eclaniation of [Mr. LyndVs father or brothers. 

James William Lyxd, was possessed of an acquisitive and 
well balanced mind, and had the advantage of a good education. 
He was said to have been a good mathematician, and his talent 
fo)' acquiring languages was certainly of a high order. He had 
also cultivated music to some extent. But with all this mental 
cultivation, he attaches hiuL^elf to the Indian trade, and for a num- 
ber of years may be said to have lived in a wigwam. Whatever 
disadvantages morally and religiously must have attended this man- 
ner of life, there can be no question that it gave him an opportu- 
nity of learning the inside of Dakota life and Dakota legend, 
such as missionaries did not have, and could not have enjoyed. 

It is known that Mr. Lynd's aim was to write a historical work, 
end)racing in its scope the origin and destiny, the manners and 
customs, the language and religion, the character and the legends 
of the Dakota tribes. For myself, after an examination of what 
remtiins of his manuscript, I can say truly that I am better satis- 
Hed with his success than I expected to be. He expresses himself 
clearly and forcibly ; and every page attests his diligent investi- 
gation. Although in some of his statements and conclusions I 
should be ol>ligc<l to diilcr from him, yet, on the whole, I regard 
liini as truthful and ti'ust worthy. 

The tirst chapter of :\[r. Lynd's work is entitled The Dakota 
tril)es of the Northwest." This portion of the manuscript is 
nearly pcrfuct, consisting of more than fifty pages. Mr. Lynd 
lii-sl takes a general view of the diftercnt Indian stocA'S, in this 
part of North America — as the Algonquin, the Iroquois, the INTo- 
bilian, and the Dakota. And then turning his attention to the 
latter, he gives some account of the various tribes which are re- 
garded as belonging to this great family. These he arranges as 
follows : 

The Sioux, or D:;kota })roper ; the Assinaboines ; the ^fandans : 
Ujisarokas, or Gro\\ s ; the Wimiebagoes ; the Osa<^c s ; the Kan- 
sas; the Kajtpaws; llieOttoes; the ^lissourias ; the lowas ; tin- 



Oiiialias ; the Poncas; tlie AiT-ickavecs ; tlic Miiinctai-CL'S or (w'os- 
Voiitrc'S ; llic Aikansas and the Pawnees. Some of the Califor- 
nia ti'ibes, he tliinks, belong to this family. Wliether tlie Cliiennes 
find a })lace here or not, is still a question. 

The Aliahaway and the Unktoka are mentioned as two lost 
tribes. The former were a bi-anch of the Ui)sarokas, and lived 
on the Ut)per ^Missouri. The Unktoka, meaning " our enemies," 
all said to have lived in Wiskonsan, south of the St. Croix, and 
to have been de<trcye'd by the lowas about the ef)mm( ncement of 
the present century. 

" The Sioux and their Country " is the subject of the second 
chapter. It is quite fragmentary — only a dozen pages remaining 
out of more than thii ty. 

The legend of the Ped Pipe Stone Quarry, contained in this 
chapter is not devoid of interest. " Tlie Pipe Stone Quarry is a 
place of great importance to the Sioux. From it they obtain the 
red clay stone — Catlinite — of which their pipes and images are 
formed ; and a peculiar sacredness is, in their minds, attached to 
the place. Numerous high bluffs and cliffs surronnd it ; and the 
alluvial llat below these, in which the quari-y is situated, contains 
a huge boulder that rests upon a Hat rock of glistening, smo'>th 
appearance, the level ol which is but a few inches above the sur- 
face of the ground. Upon the portions of this rock not c»>vered 
by the boulder above and upon the boulder itself are carved 
sundry wonderful tigures — lizzards, snakes, otters, Indian gods, 
rabbits with cloven feet, muskrats with human feet, and other 
strange and incomprehensible things — all cut into the solid granite, 
and not witliout a great deal of time and labor expended in tlie 
performance. Tlie commoner Indians, even to this day, aie 
accustomed to look upon these witli feelings of mysterious awe, 
as they call to mind the legend connected therev. ith. 

" A large party of Ehanktonwanna and Teetonwan Dakotas, 
says the legend, had gathered together at tlie (piarry to dig the 
stone. Ui)On a sultry evening, just before sunset, the heavens 
suddenly became overclouded, accompanied by heav\- rumbling 
thunder, and every sign of an ap}>roaching storm, such as fre- 


<|ucntly arises on tlio prairie witliout inuoli wai-ning. Eacli '"mu- 
Imrriecl to liis 1o(1l'C expectiiiLra storm, wlien a vivid tlasli of liuiit- 
ninir, followed immediately by a ei-asliing peal of thunder, b)-ok<' 
over tliem, and, looking t()war<l^ the hngo l)Ouldcr beyond tlu-ir 
camp, they saw a pillar or e<')lumn of smoke standing upon it, 
whicli moved to and fro, and gra(bially settled do^vn into the out- 
line of a huge giant, seated upon the boulder, with one long ;inn 
extended to heaven and the other ])ointing down to his feet. Peal 
after ])eal of thunder, and Hashes of lightning in <[uick sucee>-i"n 
i'oUowed, and tins lig\u-e then suddenly disa[»pcared. The nt'xt 
morning the Sioux went to this boulder, and found these figure< 
and images u[)On it, where before tliere had been notiiing ; a.nd 
ever sinee that the }»lace has been regarded as irnJ-nn or sacrcJ.'^ 

]>ut little light is yet thro^vn on the questiou of the or'ujli' 
these people. The ]\[an<lans are >aid to have a tradition that they 
came from under tlie earth. They lived, long ago, down undi--r 
the erust of the eartli, by a lai-ge lake. A gra])e vine pu-hcd 
its roots do\\'n tlirough. By means of the vine they crawled u}t 
through to the beautiful world above. ]>ut a large fat wom;in 
tried to climb up the vine and 1)roke it, thus preventing tlu' 
remainder of the tribe from coming up to the light. 

The 0>ages are said to connect themselves in their origin with 
the b,':iver. The fj'st father of the Osages was hunting on the 
jii-aii'ie all aloae. lie came to a l)ea\er dam, Avhere he ->aw the 
cliief of all the beavers, who giive him one of his daughter-^ t" 
wife, l-'roin this alliance spi-ang the Osages. 

The VaiH'klon Dakotahs have a tradition of the tirst maii. 
w<»nian and baity. The man found the woman on the prah'ie. 
lie hunt'.M] liei- and the\ lived very hai>pily t(^gether. The 
Woman grew latter tlian the man. T)y and by he came home iVem 
hunting, anil l'>un,l the wom;ui sittiug in a corner of the teepee, 
with something that s(pi;dled. He thought it was a bird. 

Hut, tradition aside, Mr. I.Mid thinks that tho arguments IVdui 
language ami ^pvcial customs, le:id us to connect the Xorth 
.\mei-iean Indians with the Asiatics, and espeeia.lly with the 
Hindoos, In thi- l'a«[uir ot' India he tinds a l)rother of the di-eani- 


ing god seukinu!; Dakota. Tliu n ators of the ^Mississippi ami the 
Missoiii'i mincjle with tlie G;iimx's and the Indus," 

The chapter on Early lIi>iory,'' wliich is the third, conchuk's 
in tliis way: One thing ah'ne is evident tliroagh t]ii< ancient 
gloom. A great /ffsf IJja^ that has no reference to the present 
state of tlie fndian, is still 6<:If-Lj'lsfeiif in him, and points with 
nmnistakal)le lingei- to an urigin beyond tlie land of his later 
inheritance. But it passes '>ver him like a dream in a dream, and 
seems enwrapi)ed in the mantle of silence." 

Of ^Ir, Lynd's cha[»ter on character only about ten [»ages are 
jireserved. Tn a note he draws a likeness of the Ta-o-ya-tay-doo- 
ta, or Little Crow, which may be interesting. 

''-Vmong the pi-esent li\'ing chiefs of the Dakt^tas, Ta-o-ya-tay- 
<loo-ta is the greatest man. He })Osscs>es a .-hrewd judgment, 
great foresight, and a c •mprehen.'-ivo mind, together with tluit 
gi-eatest of requisiies in a state-m:u!, caution. ,Vs an "rat'-r, lie 
has not his equal in any living tril»e of Indians. His oratory is 
bold, impassicned, and persunslve; and ids arguments are nearh 
always forcible and logical. 

Tn appearance Little Crow is -ligniried and commanding, th<»ug1i 
at times restless and anxious. He is about five feet and ten inches 
in higlit, with rather sliarp features, and a piercing hazel eye, too 
small for beauty. His head is mumH, but his tbrehead bold. 
Altogether he remimls me very strikingly, if I maybe alh;>wed the 
expression, of the kite ex-(j^o\ ernoj- of Kentucky, w hom 
he certainly r.. -em'oles in physical cha'-actfri>tic>, except tallness.'' 

"Religion," is the title of .; ie •>[' the n\ost pcrfeet and valual)Ie 
cliapters in this v.'oi-k, and one \N'hich would, in my 0[>ini'»n, make 
;i very good article in -ome litci-ary revieN\'. 

(^ne of the last chaptei'S in tliis work i> entitled '"The Destiny 
of the Dakota Tribes." None «'f the perfected copy of this part, 
and only a portion of the iir-t leaves remain>. Pei'haps thi-< is k ss 
to be regretted, as the sad occurrences of the ]>ast twenty months 
have nn\terially clnuiged the npjtarent destiny of the Sioux. AVhen 
writing these chapters, Mr. Lynd had little thought that he would 
be the first victim of vneh :m in-ane uprising. 



III regard to i]n< dcsliny ho takes a liopefiil view. Tlic " painted 
fjice and naked skin" of otlier peoples have been changed inlu 
more civilized ap})earances — and why not these? Mr. Lynd is 
very just to our missionary work. " It has been,'' he say>, a 
ceaseless and untiring ellbil to promote their wclfai-e.'' 

Again, he says, "The inlluence of the Mission among th*.- 
Dakotas has ever been of a direct and energetic character. The 
first cilbrts of the ^Mission were directed more to the christianizing 
than to the civilizing of the Sioux ; but of late the missionaries, 
though their excilions in the former respect are not at all abated, 
liave been more earnest in their endeavors to teacli the Indians to 
l)lant and till." 

It is not strange that Mr. Lynd should make tliis mistake. Our 
previous efforts in that direction were bringing forth fruit in the 
latter years of tlie mission. The Bible carries with it the plough 
and the hoe. 

There is also a well written introduction to tlus work, which i> 
nearly comi»lete, of more than twenty pages. The manuscript, 
imperfect as it is, I regard as quite valuable. And I would 
suggest that, in case it is not claimed by Mr. Lynd's friends, tlie 
Historical Society will do well to have it published in some form. 
Illustrated, it M onld make a valuable l)Ook. 

Yours truly, 


St. AxTfiONV, .Alay 1:^, 18(34. 



A stranger, coming among the Dakotas for the first time, and 
observing the endless variety of objects upon which they bestow 
their devotion, and the manifold forms which that worship 
assumes, at once }>ronounces them Pantheists. A further acquaint- 
ance with them convinces him that they are Pantheists of no ordi- 
nai-y kind — that their pantheism is negative as well as ])Ositive, 
and that the engraftmonts of religion are even more numerous 
than the true brandies. Upon a superficial glance he sees nought 
but an inextrical)le maze of Gods, Demon-, Spirits, beliefs and 
counter-l)eliefs, earnest devotion and reckless skepticism, prayers, 
sacriiices and -^neors, winding and iaterminglirig with each other, 
until a lal,»yi'iiith of pantlieisjn an<l skepticism results, and the 
Dakota, with all i\is infmity of deities a})pears a crealuri' of irreli- 
gion. One sj)eaks of the Medicine Dance with respect, while 
another smiles at th.e name — one makes a religion of the Raw Fish 
Feast, whilst anotla-r stands by and laughs at his }H'rformance — 
and others, listening to tlie supposed revelations of tli'' Cij'cle 
Dance, with reveren<l attention, are sneered at by a class who 
leny tot'j tlie f'.'lojt nature of that ceremony. AVhat one 



believes another a|>i>enrs to (.Icny; and though pantheism rears 
itself prominent above m11, yet tlie skcptieism of the one part .seems 
to oftset the ( arnest devotion f»f the other. . 

To sneli an observer, indeed, the li\ ing faith seems wanting in 
the mind of a Dakota. He has been told that .sueh or sueh a 
])elief is true; and he leeeives it as tlie living do sweet odors in a 
dream — an impression is made, but it maybe nothing whieh ma<le 
it. He ap[)ears to deem tlie senses everything, the ide.'d nothing; 
and tliough there is no more imaginative being in existence than 
the Indian, yet it seems an essential idealism, having reference 
only to reality. He will play with ideas in a practical form — 
follow the most fantastic trains of thought with a ready vigor and 
strong originality; but the train vanishes, and the amusement i> 
o\er. Express as truth a single thought beyond his reason, or in 
api)arent conflict \\ ith the evidences of his senses or his own 
hereditary belief'-, and a stereotyped expression of incredence \\'ill 
invariably pass o\ er him. 

Such, upon a laide acquaintance, :(pi)ears to be the religious 
charactei- and belief of the Dakotas. Well might the (piestion br 
.asked — what is the religion of this pL(>ple? Were this all that a 
deepcT investigation shewed, the religion rif the Dakotas would 
indeed be a ju-oblem of no easy solution. l>ut the secrets of no 
religion are i-e.achcd by a jnerc- knowledge of its forms. TIk- 
<leeper sfuu'ees nui>t be gained ere its charaeter be known ; and 
to judge even of many of the modern Christian cei-emonies by 
(»utward appearances could be }ii(>ductive of only false results. 

In connnon ^\ ith all the nations ol' the e:n th the ] )akota> belie\ e 
in a Wakantanka or Great Spirtt. But thi> l»eing is not alone in 
the univei'se. Xund;ers of minor divinities are scattered thrcuigh- 
out s])ace, some of whom ai'e placed high in tlie scale of pow er. 
Their itb-as C(.>neerning the Great Sj.irit :\pi»(>ar to be, that He i- 
the creator of the ^\ orld, and has existed from all time. l>ut after 
ci-eatiug the wo'.ld and all that is in it. He sank into silence, ami 
since then has failed tc» take any interest in the atfairs of this our 
I'lanet. They ncNcr l>ra\' to Him, for they deem Him too far 
away to hear them, or a< not being concerned in lhe!r .affair-. 



Xo sacrifices nve made to Ilini, nor dances in lli.s honor. Of all 
the spirits, lie is the Great S]»irit : but His j tower is only hatent 
or negative. Tljey swear by Ilini at times, ])Ut more commonly 
by other divinities."^ 

*Xo question has more puzzled — and, it maybe suid, unnecessarily — tlios*.- 
who have gone among the Sioux, than that of, idio thf Wahantaaho or Grtui 
Spirit is ? Thougli t!ic name is frcciucntly heard, yet it doc3 not appear to be 
well understood even ]}y the Sioux themselves: and from the fact that they offer 
no praise, sacrifices or feasts to that Divinity, many have gone so far as to 
imagine that tJit: ncme, even, v:as inf ruil ac-il to their ("qminfanre hij the idiites. 

Nothing could be more unfounded than this. Xot to me;itioii the absurdity 
of the proposition tl:at so radical an idea as that of one spirit being superior to 
and more powerful than idl others — an idea at the bottom of and pervading all 
religions, even of tlic most barbarous — sliould meet with an exception in tlie 
Dakotas; there are internal proofs of its native origin, both in tlxe testimony of 
the people, and in the use of the word itself. The Dakotas thcniselvcs aver 
that Wakautauka (tlie Great Spirit) lias always l)ecn held divine among them — 
thotigh they cannot call to mind the time when He was over worshipped, and 
acknowledge that but little is known or thou.ght about him. 

^Ve have already seen tliat tlie word "\l^'akantanka is of frequent, occurrence 
iu the Wabjn- Wnhou-rl or Sacred Feasts, and that it is used interchangealjly with 
the Algonquin word M'wcto or Great Spirit. This alone is proof onou2:h, Init 
there are otlier ^Toofs. In the Mediciiie Diuice, which, though very nu-dern a.s 
far as the Dakotas are concerned, wa^ introduced among them long years before 
any mission readied th.em. the Wakantauka is expressly declared to have been 
the creator of the world. Fm-thcr proof is not required. 

The idea of a G'-oat Siiiril is a fixed one in their minds; but they look upon 
him as a Negative Cbiod. with no attribute^ whatever of a positive or aetivt- 
character; and wlien they call \ipon him to \\'itness anything, as they now 
frequently do in conversing witii whites, it is as thi C<4 nf fhc "-hitt mnn that 
they do so, and not as the God of the Dakotas. 

With regard to the attrilnites of the Wakantanka. as they are all latent or 

unexercised, so they attract no notice from the Dakotas: fi>r why shoidd they 

address one who, they iniagine, cannot hear them, and wh.) takes no interest 

iu them actively? They ecrtaiidy wuuld bo far from showing that "humanity 

has u conuiion char;icti-r, if they did so. The Wohia^uahi tlie Dakota^ is, 

indeed, an exact prototvpe of the ancient Braimi of the ITiutloos: and no one 



The Divinities of Evil among the Dakotas may be culled legion. 
Their special delight is to make man miserable or to destroy him. 
Demons wandering tlirongh the earth causing sickness and death — 
spirits of evil ever ready to pounce U])on and destroy the unwary 
— the Thunder J3ird scattering his fii-es here and there, striking 
down M-hom he li>ts — spirits of the darkness, spirits of the light — 
spirits of earth, air, fire, and water surronnd him upon every side, 
and with but one great govei-ning object in view, the misery an<l 
destruction of the human rnce. The wanderer is lured by will o' 
wisp to dark mai'shes and obscure places but to be strangled : the 
benighted traveler is tormented by spirits along the way, till he 
lies down in despair to die: the stray lodge becomes the delight 
of the Avild OJi.norfica^ and women with child are but torturing 
sjjorts for the vengeful Anogite. All their divinities, with tlu' 
exception of the Wakantanka or Great Spirit, take especial delight 
in deeds of darkness, and are emphatically workers in the night. 
When the hail has destroyed all their crops and famine is upon 
them : when, in the deep snows of winter, the buffaloes, thick 
around tlieir lodges, are siezed with a sudden panic, and run for 
days Avith their noses to the wind, rendering it impossible to 
follow: when a whole caiJip is struck down by some epidemic, 
and fear and dread are in their midst: then it is that the Genii 
delight to torture and pui-sne, to pull, wrack, tear and rend them 
with all sorts of tricks and inventions, till their Avrath is ap}>eased 
or the people can escape. The idjiquitous Unldoiiii tortures them 
in their hunger by bringing herds of buffaloes near the cam}), 
wliich they no sooner start to pursue than he drives aM'ay by 
means of a black Avolf and a white crow: Canotidan draws the 
hnngry hunters to the depths of the wood by imitating the voices 
of animals, or by the nelarious "cico! cico*."'^ when he scares 
them out of theii- senses by showing himself to them; and the 

will be so rasli a.s to hazard tlic a.sscrtioa that because the present llnuloostancse 
worship minor deities — ahiiost entirely ignoring Hrahm — therefore the Iliadon^ 
derived f}n>ir kiinirJeihje f>f Bndna from sotae ofji^r )ifdi<m. Yet the one supposition 
is nolens ridiculou'; than V\o ot]\^T. 
* The form of Invitation to a feast. 



vindictive V ja. dri\ es llicm back from the Imiit to the desolation 
of tlieir own Iodides. 

Their i-eligious system gives to everything a sjjirit or soul. 
Even the commonest stones, sticks and cLays have a spiritual 
essence attached to them which nuist needs be reverenced — for 
these spirits, too, vent their wrath upon mankind. Indeed, tlieiv 
is no object, however trivial, but has its spirit. The whole mate- 
i-ial or visible world, as well as the invisible, is l)ut one immense 
theatre for spirits and fiends to play their torments upon mankind. 
Frequently the devout Dakota will make images of bark or stone, 
and, after painting them in vaiious AA'^ays and })utting sacred doM'u 
upon them, will fall down in worship before them, praying that all 
danger may be averted fi'om him and his. It must not l)e under- 
stood, however, that the Dakota is an idolater. It is not the 
image which he worships, any more than it is the cross which is 
worshipped by Catholics, but the sjyiritual essence which is 
represented by that image, and which is supposed to be evei- near 
it. The essentially j[)hysical cast of the Indian mind (if I may be 
allowed the expi-ession) requires some outward and tangible 
representation of things spiritual, before he can comprehend them. 
The God must be present, by image or in person, ere lie can ofter 
up his devotions. 

This system of giving to everything a spiritual essence, seems 
to have i:)revailed among all the Indian tribes both of Xorth and 
South America. 

"The Peruvians believed that everything on earth had its 
archetyjte or idea — its mother^ as they emphatically styled it — 
wliich they lield sacred, as, in some sort, its spiritual essence. 

Similar to this is the general Dakota belief tliat each ''lass of 
animals or objects of a like kind, possesses a peculiar guardian 
divinity, Avhich is the mother archetype. The resemblance of this 
to the Egyptian doctrine is not unnoticed. f 

* Prcscotfs Con<iuc.-t of Peru, book i., chap. '6. 

I Aiuon*r the ancient Kgypliinis ouch animal wa.s siippuscl to be tiiidcr thi- 
l>rutcction of sonio vr^ I JIoicc they represented each ^od by a hnuiaii body, 
with the liciid ('ic aniinal sacred to it. True rhri.-^tian hieroiilyiiliics of such 
chiu-ncici arc not lackini:- oven at the i)rcsent day. 



Sexuality is a promincMit t'(^ature in tlie I'cligioii of tlic Dakotas. 
Of every S}>ceio.s of (liviiiily (^^'ith the exee}>tion of tlie Wakan- 
taiika or Great Spirit) tlici'e is a plurality, ))art male and })art 
female. This belief, which was also a ]Kirt of the ancient i-ii'yp- 
tian creed, is common, as far as I can learn, to all the Dakota 
nations. The first Unktehi (Sea God) for instance, created from 
a i-ib by the Wakantanka himself, was a male, and the second one 
was feminine. From these two sprung all the numerous Unktehi, 
both male and female, tl^it are now scattered through the waters 
and upon the tace of the earth. Yet the Dakota carries this idea 
farther than I understand the ancient Egyptian to have done; for 
even the spirits which are supposed to dwell in earth, twigs and 
other inanimate substances, arc iuvested with distinctions of sex. 

To the human body the Dakotas give four spirits. The first 
is supj)osed to be a spirit of the body, and dies with the body. 
The second is a spirit wiiich always remains with cr near the 
body. Another is the soul wliicli accounts for the deeds of the 
body, and is supposed by some to go to the south, by others, to 
tlie west, after the death of the body. The fonrtli always lingers 
with the small bundle of the hair of the deceased, kept by the 
relatives until they have a chance to throw it into the enemy's 
couT\try, Avhen it becomes a roving, restless spirit, bringing death 
and disease to the enemy whose country it is in. 

From this belief arose the practice of wearing four scalp-feathers 
lor each enemy slain in battle, one for each soul.* 

\\'ith regard to the place of abode of tlie four souls of men — 
though they Ix-lieve that the true soul that goes south or xccst is 
immortal — they have no idea, nor do they ap[)ear to have any parti- 
cular cai-e as to what may become of them after death. Like the 
primitive Hebrews, they appear to be looking solely to temporal 
blessings. It may be remarked, that the h'ij'i>i/ huntbvj 
\i rounds^'' supposed to belong to every Indian's future, are no 

* .Some Sioux cbiiin a sculp-fcathcr, averring that there is a sidr'it 
which enters the bo(iy of some animal or child al^ter death. As far as I am 
aware tins belief is not general, though they difler in their accounts of the spirit? 
of man, even in the numher. 



j>arl of the Dakota ci-eed — tlior.gli individual Dakota>; uiay have 
learned something like it from tlie wliite men among them who 
are impregnated v.-ith the idea. 

The belief in rlie powers of ^ome Dakotas to call uj) and con- 
verse with the S['ii'its of tlie dead is strong in some, though not 
general. They frc<]uently make feasts to these spirits and elicit 
information from tlu-m of distant relatives or Iricn.ds. Assendjliug 
at night in a lodge, they smoke, put out the fu*e, and then, drawing 
their Mankets over tlu ir heads, remain singing in unison in a low 
key until the spirit gives them a picture. This tliey pretend the 
spirit does; and many a hair-erecting tale is told of spirits' power 
to reveal, and the after confirmation. 

The I'ollowiiig will give the reader a vie^^' of this spirit-power 
they deem some to possess: In the winter of 1830 were encamped 
at Big Stone Lake a large body of Sioux, composed mainly of 
Sisitons, Ihanktons, and Mdewakantons. Buffalo were plenty, 
the winter mild, and feasting, dancing and gambling were in full 
|»lay among tlu-m. A vcai- party was set on foot against the Ojil;- 
was, who occupied tlie country about Fort Bipley; and all the 
young braves and many of the older men joined it and started. 
The MdcAvakantons were encamped eight miles below the rest of 
the Sioux ; but on the evening of the second day after the war 
party had started, just as night was falling, a panic siezed the 
whole body of Sioux, and, Sisitons and all, as if by a ])reconcerted 
movement, they struck theii' tents and moved on to an island i.i 
the lake in had«lled confusion. They were now altogether, and 
no a})parcnt danger, but still the panic remained. Finally, an eld 
woman, ninety-two years of age, said that ;>he would consult tin? 
spirits. In their i\::\v they were ready to li>ten to anything; so a 
lodge was cleared, a small fire kindled in it from Hint and steel, 
and the old woman entered, closing the door after tightly. 
Seating herself she lighted the black i>ij)e, and after smoking for 
a time laid it aside, l)eat out the fire, aiul then drawing her blanket 
over her head she commenced to sing in a low key in anticipation 
of a revelati<»n trom ihe spirits. Crowds of women and childi\'n. 
together with a lew old men, surrounded the lodge, waiting 



anxiously for what should follow. Suddenly the ol<l woman wa- 
lieard to cry out, as if in extreme terror ; and hastily throwini;- 
open the door, they found her lyiuLi" u})On the ground in a swoon. 
On coming to she related that she had seen a tei-rihle picture. 
Fourteen men rose up from the west, bloody and without their 
scalps, and fiicing these rose up great jiumbers from the east, 
thirteen of whom appeared with blood upon their forms and 
apparently about falling. 

Two days afterwards the Sioux came home with fourteen scalps, 
but with thirteen of their own jtarty on biers. The Ojibwas had 
come west to make war, but seeing the very large Sioux war trail 
iiad turned to go east again, and the Sioux vice versa. Thus the 
Sioux were coming west and the Ojibwa going east — which 
confirmed the old woman's revelation in evci'y respect. 

Certain men also profess to have an unusual amount of thi^ 
icaJtan or divine }»rinciple in them. By it they assume the work- 
ing of miracles, laying on ol hands, curing of the sick, and many 
more wonderful o2)orations. It is this iraJ^-an in men Mhich 
operates in Xha powirowi/i[/ of the Dakotas. Some of these ]>er- 
sons ]>retend to a recollection of former states of existence, even 
naming the particular body they formerly lived in. Others, again, 
assert their power over nature, and tlieir faculty of seeing into 
futurity and of conversing with tlie deities. A third class will 
talk of the ]>articular animal ^^■hose body tliey intend to enter 
Avhen loosed from their present existence. 

In endeavoring to sustain these pretensions they occasionally 
go through performances which are likely to deceive the ignorani 

At a feast madt! in lionor of //(y^>/.'t^, the anti-natural God, they 
assemble in a lodge with tall conical hats, nearly naked, and 
j)ainted in strange style. Ui>on the fire is ])laced a huge kettlr 
full of meat, and they remain seated around the tire smoking, until 
the water in the kettle Ijegins to boil, which is the >ignal for the 
dance to commence. They dance and sing around it excitedly. 
]>lunging their hands into the boiling water, and >iezing large 
jneces of hot meat, which they devour at once. The scalding 



w atcM- is tlirowji over iht ir backs iind legs, at wliicli thoy never 
wince, coinplaininur tliat it is cold. Their skin is first deadened, 
as I am credibly intbrnied, by rubbing with a certain grass ; and 
tlu^y do not, in reality, oxi)ericnce any uneasiness from the boiling 
water — a fact which gives their performances great mystery hi 
the eyes of the uninitiated. 

At other times a lodge will be entirely cleared of everything 
in it, and one of these faquirs will produce ropes and tliongs, 
desiring some of tlie stronger men to tie him tightly. The tying 
is usually done by those not connected with the performance, and 
some of these affirm that they have tied their arms, elbows, and 
fi'Ct so tightly as to break the skin, and then tied the feet to the 
liands and envel<.>]»ed almost the whole body in knots and twists 
that it would seem impossible to undo. The person thus tied is 
put into the empty lodge by himself, and the door made fast from 
without. Xo one is allowed to touch or go near the lodge, and 
the Indian thus bound remains singing alone for a few minutes, 
wlien lie cries out, the door is opened, and he comes forth free 
from bonds. 

This ceremony is performed to obtain an hiterview with 7T/7t?«5A- 
h'diishJcan (tlie moving God), who is supposed to release them. 
It is looked upon by the throng as in the liighest degree v:ahan. 

Panthclsia rests at the foundation of all the religion of the 
Dakotas. Tn strictness, it can hardly be called Pantheism, for 
ihey do not believe that the wdiole universe is but an expansion 
of one God, but that everything in the universe has its own spir- 
itual essence or god. Yet for want of a better term (since 
t]u:hni is much tooliniited in its signification), I maybe permitted 
to use it. 

Xo one deity is lield ])y them all as a superior object of wor- 
ship. Some deem, one diing or deity as vjoiaa icahoi, or the su- 
preme object of worshijt, whilst others reject this and substitute a 
different one as the main god. Thus, those Dakotas wlio belong- 
to the Medicine Dance, esteem Unktehi as the greatest divinity. 
The western tribes neglect that deity, and pay their main devo- 
tion to Tunkan {Liyan)^ the Stone Go.l, or Linfjiun. As a result 



of these diPiVreiJces of worsliip, an apparent skeptieism arises on 
llie ai)cieut divinities among tlieni, ^vl)il^t a real skepticism exists 
as to their intrusive forms of relii^^ion. The Dakota, indeed, is 
not a creature tliat ignores reason. When the great men of the 
medicine dance, assert that tliey liavc power to fly — that tliey can 
cure disease l.)y a word — can slay animals or men hy a nod — the 
western Dakota smiles at liis i»retensions. Tlie medicine dance 
is no i>art of liis hereditary creed ; lie does not know tlicse tlnngs 
to be true. Ills ancient faith, and tlie instructions of Jiis early 
days, he clings to, hut looks with suspicion upon these n.ew ideas. 

The radical ^;>'/V/?5 of vorsJdjj obtaining among the Dakotas are 
few and simjile. One of the most primitive and ancient is that of 
" Woshno[>i,'" or sacrijice. To every divinity tliat they v.'orship. 
they make sacrifices. Ui)on recovciy from sickness — upon the (oc- 
currence of a long-wislied for event, on disease a])pearing among 
a family or canip, and even upon tlie most trivial occasions — the 
gods are either tlianked or su})plicated by sacrifice. The religious 
idea it carries with it is at the foundation of all their ancient cer- 
emonies, and shows itself even in the every-dny life of tiie 
Dakota. The Woluluze or 7\ihoo\\:\{\ its origin here; theAVivran- 
yag AVacij/i. or Sint Dcnid^ carries with it the idea ; the Wakan 
Wohai!j»i, «'r Sucied Feast (Feast of the First Fi'uits), is a prac- 
tical embodiment of it ; and TIanmdepi, or God-seeking of the 
sterner western tribes, is but a form t>eJf-S(icr[fict. 

Xo r>ak«'ia, in his worship, neglects this ceremony. It enters 
into his religion- thoughts by day and by night, in the midst of 
multitude- or alone on the }»rairie ; and even upon the death bed 
tlieir thoughts wander back to tlie teachings of their childhood 
and the saeriliees of their early days ; and their last breath i- 
s]»ent, like the iitnnortal Socrates, in ordering the fulfillment of 
forgotten vows f>r in directing the linal sacrifice for their own 

Tlie sacrifices made recovery from sickness are never 

com])Osed of anything \ cry valuable, f)r the })Overtyof the Indian, 
will not permit this. Fsually a small stri]) of niu-lin, or a piece of 
red cloth, a iVw kins of >ome .•mimal, or (•ther things of no great 



iisc or value, arc employed. Souielimes a pan or kellle is laid up 
for a sacrifice. ]>ut aller a short time the end for which the 
sacrifice was made is attained, and it is removed. Those in need 
of sucli things as they see ofi:ered for sacrifice may take them for 
their own use, being careful to substitute some other article. 

Pcrliaps the most connnoii forms of sacrifice are those which 
arc made in the hunt. Particular portions of each animal killed 
are held sacred to the god of the chase or other deities. If a deer 
is killed, tlie head, heart, or some otlier portion of it is sacrificed 
by the one who slays it. The part sacrificed difi:ers with differ- 
ent hidividuals. In ducks and fowls the most commo]i sacrifice is 
of tlie wing, though many sacrifice the heart, and a few the head. 

This custom is called icohduzc, and is always constant with in- 
dividuals, i.e., tlie same part is always sacrificed ; yet there are a 
few experienced hunters who have mixed much Avith the whites^ 
and who have learned to abandon this custom. 

Of a like character \vith this icoJiduzc^ or special sacrifice, though 
disconnected from it, and instituted for a dilierent purpose, is the 
taboo. It bears the name of v:ohduze, (the same as that just de- 
scribed,) but is by no means the same. 

When a youth arrives at an age proper for going on tlie war 
patli, he first purifies himself by fasting and the inipi or steam 
bath for the term of tliree days, and then goes, with tears in his 
eyes, to soine medicine man, whose v:akan influence is undoubt- 
ed, and pi'ays that he Vv'ill present him with the icotaice, or conse- 
crated armor. This medicine man is usually some old and exix.- 
rienced zui/a-wa/xcoi, or sacred war-leader. After a time the ar- 
mor — usually consisting of a .yjcar, an arrou-, and a small bundle 
of ^>az;i<* — is presented to the young man; but until it is so 
presented, he must I'ast and continue his purifications incessantly. 

At the same time that the old man presents the armor, he tells 
the youtli to what animal it is dedicated, and enjoins it uj)On him 
to hold that animal sacred. lie must never kill or harm it, even 

* U is a siug\jlar I'acl that nothing hut the spcm- of this aruutr is ever u.<o'i ir» 
battle, tliough it i:^ alwavs carried with them upou war parties. 



though Starvation be upon liim. At all limes and under all 
circumstances the " tahoo^' or sacred injunciion is upon it, until, 
by slaying numerous enemies it is gradually removed. By some 
the animal is held sacred during life, the taboo being voluntarily 
retained. Frequently they form images of this animal and carry 
about 'with them, regarding it as having a direct influence upon 
their every day life and upon their ultimate destiny — a thing 
supernatural, all-powerful and sacred."-^ 

Among the Algonquin tribes it is represented that each person 
had his tutelar divinity^ and always carried some token of this 
divhiity about with hun. 

Xow, although our knowledge of the Algonquins is more com- 
plete than of any other Xorth American race, yet the question 
may be asked whether these tutelary divinities and the image of 
the taboo are not one and the same thing? The Algonquins 
possessed sacred armor ; and, if sacred, was it not dedicated to 
some object? and would not that object assume the same import- 
ance in the eyes of the individuals possessing the armor so dedi- 
cated, as the spirit of the taboo does in the mind of the Dakota? 
It is certainly plausible. f 

* At various times tlie missionaries have endeavored to got the Sioux to sijn 
the t^mj:-era>7':i ph^^'jt'. They wore all willing enough to touch the pen in token 
of signature, but no inducements could make them draw the figure of their 
tahot-j : for should they break such a pledge — a thing they were doul)tle5S all 
looking to — it would be great sin, and call down the wrath of the spirit of the 
tohy^ upon them. Many, however, out of a desire to please would draw an 
animal for a siguaturo, but not the true one of their own individual taboo. 

f I ma?i iicre be permitted to hazard a conjecture as to the origin of the 
totemic syit-ihi of ihe Algoucjuin and lluron-Iroquois races. 

In each of the Okodakiciyapi or Si^crei socif-ties among the Dakota tribes, there 
is one object that is specially wor3hii)ped, and every member of any particular 
society of this kind holds the other members as brothers. In the talw also one 
animal is the sacred object of r.iany persons. Thus many Dakotas have the v:olf 
for ^^^x>; otliers have the lynx as a common god, to whom their war-spears are 
dediciited; and still other classes the o/^er, /o.r, hear^ etc. There can be no doubt 
ihat the Zu!/-.i TTulvz/j^who bestows these sacred animals as a taboo ou the Dakotas, 



Hand in hand witli tlie sacrificial system, or, rather, one of its 
most prevalent fornis, is the ^yakan Wohanpi or Sacred Feast, 
f^ormerly no Dakota ^^'0uld partake of the first fruits of the field 
or of tl\e hunt without olfering a part, by the bacred Feast, to the 
deities : but, at the present day these feasts arc not confined 
wholly to this idea, but arc made even upon trivial occasions. It 
must not be understood, however, that the practice of propitiating 
the deities, or tlianking them by an ofix'ring o{ ihc firat /?'uits, has 
died out. On the contrary, it is in full force among tliem. Some 
are even so religious that they will partake of no food witliout 
ofiering a portion to the divinities as a sacrifice. - But the system 
has been extended, so that it is by no means confined to the Jl'rst 
fruits, but is made upon every occasion. The toucli of time is 
upon this, as upon all the customs of the race, and they are altercvl 
and debased. But the main idea stands prominent over all, not- 
withstandin<:r the chani^es. 

It is impossible to name all the deities to whom these Sacred 
Feasts are made. The most common ofiering is to the spirit of 
the medicine sack; and this, among the eastern Dakotas, has 
supplanted all the rest. 

docs so, at tlii.s day, at random. Yet, numerous persons, finding themselves 
w ith {he same fahoo, and esteeming tlio s^ame animal wakan, would naturally 
unite into one society ; and thus one common taboo would render them one 
common okodakiciyapi or family. This is further corroborated by the fact, that 
even in common life, where one Dakota takes anotlier as his koda^ i.e., god, or 
friend, they become brothers in each other's families, and are, as such, of course 
unable to intermarry, thus corresponding with the totemic si/sfcni, in whicli 
members of the same badge cannot marry. The image of the taboo, then, may 
be, at the same time, ihc totem of the Algonquin, and his supposed tutelary di- 
vimty ; and it is not improbable that the totcmic system had its origin here. It 
is true that non-intcrmurriagc is not prohibited strictly in the okodakiciyapi of 
the l->akotas ; but its exceedingly rudimentary state, as compared with tiic 
thorough and fundamental sy.stem of the xVlgonquins, will account for this. 

* ''Others again [Siou.v] will never cat unless they bestow the first moutliful 
as an olTering to the prairie." — Sinje'sWestirn Scenes.^ Philoddihia: G. D. Miller., 
J 855, p. 81. 



The inference has been m.ide hy some wliites, who liavc care- 
fully observed this ceremony, that, as the sacrifices to the evil 
(livinitie> arc mostly of a proi)itiatory character, and as the Sacred 
Feast appears to be more a ceremony of thanks than otherwise, it 
was originally intended for thanks to the AYakan Tanka or Great 
Spirit. Yet the Dakotahs do not now so miderstand it, nor in- 
deed, appear to know anything of its ordination. 

IlanmiJiyji't or God-Seeking is a form of religion among the 
Dakotas that bears within it very ancient footprints. The mean- 
ing of this word, in its common acce])tation, appears to be greatly 
misunderstood by some. Literally, it means only to drcam^ and 
is but another form of the word hanmna: but in its use it is 
applied almost wholly to the custom of srcl-ing for a dream or 
revelation , practiced by the Sisitonwan, Ihanktonwanna, and 
Titonwan, Sioux, and by the Crows, Minnitarecs, Assinaboines, 
and other western Dakotas. In this respect it has no reference 
whatever to the common dreams of sleep, but means simply the 
form of religion practiced. 

If a Dakota desires to be particularly successful in any (to him) 
important undertaking, he iirst purifies himself by the Tiap\ ox 
steam bath, and by lasting for a term of three days. During the 
whole of this time he avoids women and society, is secluded in his 
liabits, and endeavors in every way to etherealize himself, prepar- 
atory to the performance of his religious rites, in order that he 
may be pure enough to receive a revelation from the deity he 
invokes. Y^hen the period of fasting is passed, he is ready for 
tlie sacrifice, which is made in various ways. 

Some, passing a knife through the breast and arms, attach 
cords or thongs thereto, which are fastened at the other end to 
the top of a tall pole raised for the purpose, and thus they hang, 
suspended only by these cords, for two, three, and even four days, 
gazing upon vacancy, the ir minds intently fixed upon the object 
in which they desire to l^e assisted by the deity, and waiting for 
.1 vision from above. Once a day an assistant is sent to l<^«^k 
upon the person thus sacrificing himself If the deities liave 
vouchsafed liim a vision or revelation he signifies the same by 


motions, and is rdcased at onoo : if he be silent, liis silence is 
understood, and lie is left alone to liis barl)aroiis reveries. 

Others attach a bullalo hair ro[)e to the head of a ])uffahj just as 
it is severed from the animal, and to the other end alhx a Iiook 
•Nvhich is tlien passed through the large muscles in the small of the 
back, and thus fastened they drag the head all over the camp, 
their minds meanwhile being fixed intently, as in the first instance, 
upon the object in whicli they are beseecliing the deity to assist 

A third class pass knives through the flesh in various parts of 
the body, and wait in silence, tliough Avith fixed mhid,for a dream 
or revelation. 

A few, either not blessed with the powers of endurance er else 
lacking the courage of the class first named, will plant a pole uj^on 
the steep bank of a stream, and attaching ropes to the muscles of 
the arms and breast, as in th.e first instance, will stand, but not 
hang, gazing into space, without food or drink, for days. 

Still another class of \\\qsq faquirs practice the Ilanmdepi with- 
out such horrid self-sacrifice. For Aveeks — nay, for months — they 
will fix their minds intently upon any desired object to the exclu- 
sion of all others, frecpicntly crying about the camp, occasionally 
taking a little food but fasting for the most part, and earnestly 
seeking a revelation from their god. 

The suflerings they imdergo in these self-torturings are excru- 
ciating. In the first instances, particularly, the over})Owering 
thirst, the change from the heat of day to the cold dews of night, 
the gnawings of hunger, and the inflamed muscles, all produce 
suflerings with which even death is not a com])arison. Xo Hindoo 
devotees could be more earnest or sincere in their s(^lf-innnol:ition 
than these i)oor Dakotas in their Ilanmdepi. They practice 
these ceremonies dailv. Among: the eastern Dakotas the Medi- 
cine Dance appenrs to have taken the place of these more barba- 
rous ceremonies — among the AYinnebagoes, entirely. Indeed, the 
Medicine Dance, though an intrusive religious form, may be con- 
sidered as an elevating and enlightening religion in comparison 
with the IIanmde])i. That this barbarous religious ceremony is 



oven HOW comjuencing to fall awuy, under the comljined influoiiet' 
of contact v/Uli tlie white man and intru?5ive religions, is very 
evident; and a century or even half a century hence, it will most 
likely be numbered with the dead customs. 

The Wiwanyag Wacipi or Worship of the Sua as a divinity, 
is evidently one of the most radical bases of Dakota religion. It 
lias a subordinate origin in the Wilianmnapi or drecuning, and is 
inthnately connected with the nanmdei)i or Vlsio)i Il'untunj. 
This most ancient of all worships, though it is of very frequent 
occurrence among tlie Dakotas, does not lake place at stated 
intervals as among the old nations of the East, nor does the whole 
tribe participate in the ceremonies. It is performed by one per- 
son alone, such of his relatives or friends assisting in the ceremo- 
nies as may deem lit or as he may designate. 

Preparatory to this, as to all the other sacred ceremuuies of the 
Dakotas, is fasthig and purification. The Dance conmiences witli 
the rising of the sun and continues for three days, or until such 
lime lis the dreaming worshipper shall receive a vision from the 
spirit or divinity of the Sun. lie faces the sun constantly, turn- 
ing as it turns, aiul keeping up a constant blowing with a wooden 
whistle. A rude drum is beaten at intervals, to which he keei)S 
time vrith his feet, raising one after the other, and bending his 
body towards the sun. Short intervals of rest are given during 
the dance. The mind of the worshipper is fixed intently upon 
some great desire that he has, and is, as it were, isolated from the 
body. In this state they are said to receive revelations from tlu' 
sun, and to hold direct intercourse with that deity. 

If the woi-shipper of this luminary, however, should fail to 
receive the desired revelation before the close of the ceremonies, 
then self-sacrifice is resorted to, and the cerenu,)nies of the Ilanm- 
depi become a part of the worship (>f the Sun. 

Yet, in all ihe sacrifices of the Dakotas, we find no such barba- 
rous offerings as were made by the ancient Egyptians, Persians, 
Assyrians, Greeks, Roman-, and by the old Peruvians nnd Aztecs. 
Human sacrifices form no part of their religion. In this resi»ect 
the barl>arism of the West presents a nobler history than that of 



tlie East Only quo instance is on record,* in tlie whole history 
of Dakota nations, where such a sacrifice was oftcrcd. This was 
anioiiGf the Pawnees. A yonnG: Sioux izirl wlio had been taken 
cai)tiYC by that nation was put to death by liolding fire under lier 
arms and feet, and her body, still quivering, was then cut into 
hmall pieces. From each of these pieces a dro\) of blood was 
squeezed over their cornfields as a sacrifice to the god of the 
of the harvest. Yet the ])akotas look upon such actions with 
liorror, even where the sacrifice is in the person of an enemy. 
Tlie slaying of enemies in war may, indeed, be regarded as a sort 
of sacrifice; but the deliberate sacrifice of a prisoner as a form of 
religion is not a custom among them. They usually adopt prison- 
ers into the nation and treat them kindly. 

Nor do we find that bigoted attachment to one form of religion 
and suspicion of all others, so common even among Christian 
nations. Their hereditary religion they cling to with tenacity, 
and a generous skepticism arises with i-egard to the intrusive 
forms of religion among them. But those who adopt these last 
they never persecute nor ostracise. They are tolerant^ but jecd- 
ous. This last word, indeed, accounts for their hostility to those 
who have embraced Christianity. They can tolerate, but they 
dread encroachments which overturn all their religion. 

The deities upon which the most worship is bestowed, if, indeed, 
any particular one is nameable, arc Tunkan [Inyan) the Stoiie 
God, and T^^akinyan the TJiunder Bird. Tlie latter, as being 
the main god of Avar, receives constant worshi]) and sacrifice ; 
whilst the adoration of the former is an every day afi:air. The 
Tunkan, the Dakotas say, is the god that dwells in stones or rocks, 
and is the oldest god. If asked why it is considered the oldest, 

* The sacriiicc of a son by his own lather, mentioned in SchoolcrafV s Condi- 
twu and Prospects ^ lY., 51, as occurring amon*^ tlic Sioux, is believed — if, 
indeed, the thing ever took place — to be the only instance ever known among 
them. It must be looked upon, as the Sioux themselves look upon any such 
transaction when spoken of to them, as an instance of insanity, and consequently 
hardly worth mentioning. Certainly nothing could bo further from their cus- 



they will tell you because it is the hardest — an Indian's reason. 
The most usual form of stone employed in worship is round, and 
about the size of the huuian head. The devout Dakota paints this 
Tunlion red, putting eolored swan's down upon it, and then falls 
down and worships the god which is supposed to dwell in it or to 
hover near it. 

AYhat the general belief of the Dakotas is with regard to the 
resurrection of the body, I am unable to ascertain. The old 
Peruvians — who bear more than one sign in their language, man- 
ners, customs, and religion, of a co-origin with the Dakotas — had 
their mummies or a preservation of the body with a view to resur- 
rection, but they Avcre a fixed nation and could do so. Had the 
Dakota nations been localised in the same manner, perhaps the 
same thing would have occui-red among them. - 

There are those among the Dakotas who profess to believe in 
the doctrine of ti'anstnirjration^ or the passage of the soul after 
death into the body of some animal It is this class that give a 
•fiftli soul to man. Some few of these metempsychosists even go 
so far as to aver that they liave distinct recollections of a formei- 
state of existence, and of the passage into this. The belief, as 
before stated, does not appear to bo general. 

In the worship of their deities paint forms an important feature. 
Scarlet or red is tlie religious color for sacrifices, whilst blue is 
used by the women in many of the ceremonies in which they 
participate. This, however, is not a constant distinction of sex — 
tor the women freipiently use red and scarlet. The use of paint-, 
the Dakotas aver, was tauglit them by the gods. UnJdchi tauglit 
the first medicine men how to paint themselves when they wor- 
shipped him, and what coloi's to use. TakusJJcanshlcan (tlic 
Moving God) whispers to his favorites what colors are most 

* The placing of dead bodies on scalVolds — a temporary preservation of tlieiu 
— seems to have the same ohjcct in view, as far as their mode of hfc admits of it. 
Acquaintance with iho Dukotas sliows that they have an hereditary and univer- 
sal opposiiion to burying their dea«i under ground until it is absolutely neces- 
sary, from the rapidity of decay, to do so. 



;iocc|»tablc to liini, Ileyoka liovcrs over llicm in dreams, ajid 
inlni-ins them hoAv many streaks to employ upon tlieir bodies, and 
the tinge tliey must have. Xo ceremony of worship is complete 
\N ilhout the wakan or sacred application of paint. The down of 
I lie female swan is colored scarlet, and forms a necessary part of 

The tunl-cni is painted red, as a sign of active worship,'- ami 
the Dakota brave is never more particular in the choice of paints 
which may please his deities tiian when upon the war path. 

There are no set seasons or times of worship. Kach Dakota 
prays to his gods or makes sacrifices to them at such times and in 
sueh })laces as he deems best. In most cases, circumstances call 
forth his active religion, which otherwise lies dormant. Dreams 
are a main source. A brave dreams repeatedly or vividly of tlie 
sun, and straightway he conceives it to be his duty t<) v»'or>hip 
that luminary by a Sun Dance. Death makes its appearance in a 
family, and immediately the Dakota nnist propitiate the spirits of 
darkness by fasting and sacrifice. The wants of the Indian, also, 
are a prime source of his active religion. One wishes to be suc- 
cessful in stealing horses or upon the war path, and falls to beg- 
ging the assistance of the deities by self sacrifice, preceded by 
fasting, ])enance and purification. 

That there Avas a time with them when all these radical forms 
of religion had a positive, and not a negative, existence, were 
active and constant instead of latent and only called out by cir- 
cumstances, there can be no good, grounds for doubting. The in- 
ternal proofs are too strong to admit of doubt. At the present 
day, though the religious sentiment among them is potent in the 
chase, the dances, the games, and upon the war path, the last- 
named alone, probably, develops it in its true force. The dan- 
gerous positions they may at any moment be forced into, the 

* Spcakin<5 of the modcru Hindoo temples of worship, Bayartl Taylor says, 
" Sonic of the (igurcs liuvc l)oen recently smeared witli red pai/if^ a sign that 
thut they arc .^till \vorsliii)ped hy sonic of the Hindoo sects." 

— Trillin^ Cliinn and Jiquiii^ (Inqifn Uf. 




gloomy forest an<l the lonely prairie, the strange country and the 
a[)]>roacliing con|-liet, all eoin1)ine to cast a dark shade over them, 
favorable to active religi^ui. v\t other times circumstances, alone, 
call them to their rites and ceremonies. 

It is remarkable that the idea of purification should be so deeply 
rooted in tiie mind of the Dakota. It is as strong in them it 
was in the ancient Hebrews. Their entire religion is pervaded 
with it. In all sacred ceremonies, where fire is used, they kiii'lle 
anew, for puiilication, witli iiint and steel, or by friction. The 
body, too, must be prepared for interview with deity; and for a 
Dakota to commence any religious ceremony without having first 
purified himself by tlic inipi, or steam-bath, and by fasting, would 
be the height of iniquity. They appear, indeed, to ap]>roach sa- 
cred things with the same awe that the ancient Jews experienced 
coming near the chamber of the Holy of Holies ; and the injunc- 
tion, ^' Take olf thy sandles — this is holy ground," seems ever be- 
fore them. 

The idea of evil, also, seems to be deeply rooted hi their minds. 
It pervades all their opinions, sentiments and beliefs. It may be 
asked, from whence did it spring? The solution (if it would be 
wise to venture a solution,) would apparently take us back to a time 
when they possessed a ]-eligion purer than that which their present 
forms exhibit. Xo other infei'ence is left us. To use Dr. Paley'- 
old figure — if a person finds n broken watch, he does not abuse his 
reason by imagining that it was always so. Debasement pre-supposes 
at least comparative purity. What, then, is the case with the religion 
of the Dakotas ? We lind two principles pervading it all, the one 
of good, an.d the other of evil. The principle of good has been 
uncultivated until it has become so far debased that the name of 
God even has lost its original use, and is employed as a form of 
address among them ; while the principle of evil has been culti- 
vated and extended until it pervades all their philosophy, and 
enters even into the commonest phases of their life. Good is al- 
Avays negative, whilst evil is always positive. I can name no di- 
vinity of Good among the ])al:otas except the Wakan Tauka, or 
Great Spirit. None of their other deities arc represented as pos- 



srssiiig oven negative good. If this, tlieii, be so, the cuiiclusioii 
iiuiy be (.Iraw'ii that ilie Dakolas originally believed in ont God; 
but that the evil principle, which was ever present with them, 
and of tlie existence of which they had daily evidence among 
themselvL'S, as they supposed, in disease, sorrow and death, was 
the origin of that plurality of evil divinities which is found 
among them, perpetuated, perhaps, by the traditions which they 
originally broug];t with them from the parent stem. 

Summing up the religion of the Dahotas, we find Pantheism is 
the great base upon winch it stands, and two radical forms con- 
nected with it in the v:orshxp of the su)2, and Ilannidepi or God- 
seel-in ff. All then- other religions customs and dances are mere 
forms of worship. 

At the rr*ot of all these forms, stand two prominent ideas — 
pnrif.cation and sacripce^ and from them is built up the whole ex- 
ternal structure. 

Constructe.l, then, Dakota religion stands thus : 

JIai/i Base. 

Derivative JBeises. 
AVnvANYAG Wacitt ; or Sun Woksiiip. 
IlANMDEri ; or, God-Seekixg. 

Base l^orms. 


These con>titute the whole religion of the Dakotas. 

It will be observed that I have paid no attention whatever to 
the Medicine Dance, the Cirek' Dance, or the ib-ave Dance in this 
analytic view of the Dakota theology. As a part of the present 
religious ceremonies of tlie AVinnebagoes, eastern Sioux, and a 
h'w other Dakotas, these dances are, perhaps, worthy of consid- 
♦^•ration ; but, as they are intrusive forms^ they cannot be consid- 
t'red as entering into the radical and native, as well as prevailing, 



I'clig'on of tlic race. An analysis of the relii^ion of tlie MeJicii)o 
and Cireli^ Dances, belongs properly to a lilstory of the nation an-l 
race to which those dances are clearly traceable; and the lirave 
Dance forms but a very inconsidei-ablc fraction of the religion d' 
the Dakotas. Xeither does it contain any other ideas, or even 
forms of worship tlian those embraced in the table just given. 

Nor have 1 found, in observing the religious ceremonies of the 
Dakotas, that the ^Medicine Dance exercises that i)Owerful influ- 
ence over this people which some have ascribed to it. In ca^i s 
of extremity, I have ever noticed that they apjieal to their 7'/ni- 
krni (Stone God,) lirst .-uid last, and they do this even after the 
ceremouies of tlie ^le-licine Dance have been gone through \\ ilh. 
All Sioux agree in saying that the l^itnltan is the main reci[)icnt 
of their prayers ; a!id among ihe Titons, Maiulans, Ihanktons and 
Westei'u Dakotas, they pray to that and the spirit of the butialo 
ahnost entirely. 




Mnt ^aul : 


President : 
Major General II. II. SIBLEY. 

\{ce Presidents: 

Secretary : 

Treasurer : 

Ejr,ecu t Ive Co inio II : 

Rkv. J. ^L\TT<)( Ks, 0. E. Mayo, 
Wv.w S. Y. .M( Masters, D.D., A. J. Hill, 

LL. D. Hon. A. Goodricli, 

(Jov. W. R. Marshall, Dr. C. Di-Montrkvill e, 

liox. H. M. IvrcK, Dr. IIenuy II. Eamks, 

Rkv. Joiix 1i;elam), R. O. Sweexev, 

Hon. J. I). Li:[M)LN, AV. Dean, 


(r. A. JI A.Mii/roN, J. I*. Bond, 

W. U. Kkllkv. Hon. S. J. R. i\IcM illan 


I. Annual Report of the Secretary, 

II. Mineral Regions of Lake Sui)erIor, 

III. Constantine Beltrami, .... 

IV. Historical Xotcs of the United States Land Office, 
V. The Gcograj)hy of Pcrrot, 

VI. Dakota Superstitions, - . . . 


Report of the Committee of Publication, 

J Jon. II. II. ^Ih^ii, Pr(--<i(leiii of tht Minnesota llUtorical Sorietii : 

Your Coinmittec of Publication, acting under instruction of the Execu- 
tive Council, beq; lenvc to lay before you the acconipanyinfr annual. 

The liniitf'] nu aiis of the Society liavc C(;ni])el]ecl brevity ; an<l mo-t of 
tlie articles seleeied are of local, rather than of general interest. 

The article on the " Mineral Regions of ^Minnesota " may be a niattrr of 
sonic general intejcst; but its cliief inlerc-^t will be with the people of our 

The " Life of C'onstantii^e Belti-ami " will be intei'e-ting to all readers ; 
tliough \\\< conniction with ^Minnesota and the Xorthwest will cause ii to 
be read with peculiar interest hy our own people. 

The article on tlie " Dakota Super<i itlon'i," coining from one most thor- 
oughly ac([Uaint<-d witli those (diiMren of the forest, must awak(-n the in- 
terest of all who eare to enter into the study of the aboriginal character. 

The brief sketch of the " lli-tory of the United States Land Oftice" ccn- 
tains lacts well a\ oi'tli i)reserving. 

The article on the "Geography of Peri'ot." not withst:inding the world- 
wide reputation of Perrot. is rather of local, than of any general inten-t. 
Your committee would express their regret that the want of French type 
luis compelled them to print the original in such style as to do great in.iu^- 
tice to the authr>r. They- would fain have omitted the French, and printed 
only the translation, but for the earnest wish of ;Mr. Hill, that the tidelity 
of Ids translation might be a])i)arent by comparison witli the original. 

S. Y. Mc>[ASTKHS. ] r<-, niif - 




Read at the Annual Meeting, Jan. 31, 1867. 


Th(.' cuntributions to the society since the last annual report, 
P^f'hruary 22, ISGG. liavo l)een as follows: 

O. E. GAinii80>', Esq., St. Cloud.— ^Map of Stearns county. 

Amekicax AxTiQi-ArjAN Society, AVorccster Mass. — Their proceedings 
at tlieir animal mcetinir, Oct., 21, 18(.>-j. 

J). AV. iNGEnsoi.L, Esq., St. Paul. — A Chart, illustrating the operations 
of the U. S. Sanitary Commission. 

lion. I). A. RoiJKRTsr>x, St. Paul. --Thirty-four Pamphlets, relating to 
tlie city of St. Paul, and State of Minnesota — and one volume, Voyages 
from Asia to America, London, 1701. 

Kcv. Edwakd D. Xeill, AVashington, D. C. — An original paper com- 
piled from Nicholas Perrot's memoir. An original paper on the northern 
boundaries of Minnesota — and a 3[ap of ^[innesota, showing a part of 
I he international boundary in the vicinity of the Lake of the AVood^. 

Essex: Institute. — Historical notice of tlieir society and their Collec- 
tions for lS(ir». 

CiiAS. ^I. AVETiiEiiEi.i., E<,{[., PhiladL'l])!na. — Four Pami)hlets on scien- 
titic subjects. 

11. O. Sweeny, E-q., St. Paul, ^linn— Two " River Sturgeon" for the 
Department of Natural History. 

II. H. Dawson, Es(i., Alorrisania, X. Y. — Diary of David Tfow, a pri- 
v.iif in th<' army of the Auu rican Ki-voliiti'Ui. 

Alaj. (Icn. J. Wa tts de Pi;vsteu, Tivoli, X. Y. — Documentary Te^ti- 
nionials of the m-'rilorious conduct of his three sons in the service of the 
United Slates, during the late war, — and forty bound N'olumesand twenty- 
live Pamphlets. 



Maj. Ror.i:RT II. Hall, of 10th U. S. Intanti v.— Photograph of Major 
Lawrence Taliaiorro. 

Prof. Bache, Wa-^hinL'foiL I). C— Report of Coast Survey for ISO:}. 

\V. H. Getchkll, Esq., Afton. .Minn.— A Continental Hill. 

John M. Cahh. Esq., St. Paul —Charleston, S. C, Newspaper ot IT'.h;. 

l?ev. C. D. J>UADLKY, Boston.— Two Pamphlets, oiw. Broadside and Au- 
tographs of public men, 

X. E. lIiSTrniicAL AND Gexka i.oc ic AL P EO isTK K, Boston.— Valedictorv 
Address of Dr. AVinslow Lewis. 

Henky J. MouGAN, Esq., Ottawa, C. W.— One Pamphlet, " The place 
British Americans liave won in historw'' 

HoKACE Thompson. Esq., St. Paul. — A Rebel Commutation Document 
from Georgia. 

Smithsonlvn Institute. — Several Packages of Shells. 
Rev. S. Y. Mc^Iasters, St. Paul. — An old copy of Webster's Spelling 

Rev. Dr. Craik, of Louisville, Ky. — "Divine Life," and "The New 

Dakota Historical Society. — One Pamphlet, "History and Pvc- 
oiirces of Dakota, 3Iontana, and Idaho." 

A. J. Hill, Esq., St. Paul.—" Lewis and Clark's Journal," London, 1.^00. 
Map of Vermilion Lake, and alphabetical list of members of the 31inne- 
sota Historical Society, from 1849 to 1S62. 

Increase A. Lapiiam, LL. D., Milwaukee, Wis. — His Map of Wiscon- 
sin, showing influence of the lakes on temperature. 

J. W- McClung, Esq., St. Paul.— Statistical Directory of St. Paul, for 

C. P. V. Lull, Esq., St. Paul.— .A copy of the Bible printed in Edin- 
burgh, A. D. 1706. 

H. Wedelstaedt, M. D., St. Paul.— Photograph of PL G. Blasdell, gov- 
ernor of Xevada. 

Chas. T. Bryant, Esq., of St. Peter.— His History of the Sioux :Mas- 

R. B. Xay, Esq., Le Sueur, ^linn. — Copies of " El Nicaragensi," a paper 
published in Xicaraugua during the administration of Wm. Walker. 

CiiAS. H. Hart, Esq., Philadelphia.— One Pamphlet, "The three days' 
battle of Chattanooga," and a Map of the battle field. 

Hon. Henry Wilson, Xatick, Mass.— One Pamphlet, "3[ilitary Meas- 
ures of the I'. S. Congress — 1801 — 1805. 

C. De MoNTi:EViLLE, 3L D., St. Paul.— A copy of the Blue Laws of 

Hon. I. Donnelly, Xiningcr, !Minn.— Three Coast Survey Charts. 
Messrs. Cornman Stickney, Stillwater, 31 inn. A Stone Axe, found 
near Stillwater. 



CiiiCA(}o IIisTouiCAL Society. — Three Pamphlets. 
St.vtk HisTOKicAL .SociKTY of lowji. — The Annals ol' Iowa, 11 vols*. 
Puni-isiiEus OF A.MKuicAX Educational Montiflv. — Their issue of 
September, ISGO. 

Prni-isHKits IfAMir/roN (Ohio) TKLEGUArir. — Their paper contaiiiinii; 
ohituury notice of C. K. Smith, Es([., first Secretary of tlie Ti-rritory of 
.Minnesota, and the first Secretary of llii.s Society. 

Geo. E Lowiiv, Es(i., i:Uh Indiana Infantry. — Piece of a Rebel Stand- 
ard, captured at Fort Fisher. 

Xeu' IlA>ri'SHinE Historical Society. — Tlieir Collections, vol. Vllf. 
and I'eport of Adjutant General, ISfiO, 2 vols. 

CoxcuiESsioxAL LiiJKAKY, AVashiugton, D. C. — Writings of James 
Madison, four voluuies. 

F. P. Delaxo, Es([., St. Paul.— Photograph of the first Locomotive En- 
gine placed upon a Railroad in this State. 

W, II. Mitchell, Esq., Rochester, 3[iun.— Geograj)hical and Statistical 
History of the County of Olmsted, three copies. 

B. ^V. Brun.sox, Esq., St. Paul, :\Iinn.— Two old Deeds. 

Charles :\rrlNTYKE, Esq., St. Paul.— The Guard Book of the 1st Regi- 
ment, Minn. Vols. 

Isaac Van Ettex, Es(|., St. Paul.— The original Seal of the Adjutant 
General of the Territory of 3[innesota. and the original Receipt Book, 
Check Book, and ]?ook of Records of the Board of Commissioners of 
}*ublic Buildings," of the Territory of .Minnesota. 

S. T. Raguet, Esq., St. Paul. — An autograph letter from Sir Wm. Pep- 
perell, dated January 17, 1731, and a copy of " The First Minnesota," a pa- 
per published by the members of the 1st Regiment, ^Nfiun. Yols., at Berry- 
ville, Va., March 11, ISi'y'l. 

Dr. J. C. RuoADEs, Stillwater.— Specimens of Sulphate of Lime, from 
west bank of Red River, at Fort Abercrombic. 

Rev. GiDEOX II. Poxi), Bloomington, Minn.— The Bag used by a Sioux 
** Medicine-man." 

Several works on the Sioux massacre of 18G2, have been added 
l)y gift and purchase, and twenty-two volumes of Doddsley's Annual 
1-Jegister, (comprising the whole set with the exception of two vol- 
umes.) a journal of the times from 1751 to 1780, published in Lon- 
<Ion, have been purcliasod and placed in our library. 

Gen. II. S. Sanford, TJ. S. Minister at Belgium, an honorary mem- 
ber of the society, and Jlon. A. Goodrich, Secretary of Legation at 
the Belgian capital and an old member of this society, were ap- 
pointed delegates to tlie International Archaiological Congress to have 
boen held at Antwerp in August last, but which was postponed in 
consequence of the prevalence of the cholera in that city. Both 



gentlemen signified llieir acceptance, presented their credentials and 
agreed to represent this society at the adjourned meeting of the Con- 
gress wliich is to be held during this year. 

Tlie society in May last caused two of the mounds on Davton's 
Bluff to bo opened. The work was superintended by Mr. A7. 11. 
Kclley. who made an able and elaborate report to the society, which 
proved the mounds to be of very great antiquity. It is contemplated 
to continue the work of excavation still farther, and it is hoped that 
discoveries may be made which may throw additional light on the 

Mound Builders," — a race Avhose history is shrouded in the deepest 
mystery and oblivion. 

A vast deal may be accomplished for the furtherance of the ob- 
jects of the society, which will otherwise remain undone, by stand- 
ing committees who should be appointed by the council from its 

Biographies, narratives and reminiscences of the early missiona- 
ries, fur traders, voyageurs, government agents, explorers and old 
settlers, might now, with organized and well directed effort, be easily 
obtained (while the opportunities for such work are rapidly diminish- 
ing.) and would be of incalculable interest to the future historian 
and antiquary. 

Although much has been written on the subject of the Indian 
tribes who have lived witliin the limits of the state, yet it is a fruit- 
ful field that is by no means exhausted. 

Much remains to be done in the de[>artment of geology and miner- 
alogy, in collecting specimens and properly classifying and arranging 

The Natural History Department might become an interesting 
feature of the society if we had the means to enable us to employ a 
suitable person to procure and prepare specin'ens of the beasts and 
birds found witliin the iwrdt-rs of our state. This will soon become 
a labor attended with great ditTiculty and expense as the advance of 
settlements and the exterminating policy of the hunter and trapper 
will speedily cause many of the fur-l>earing animals and rarer varie- 
ties of birds to disa[)pear. 

A very fine collection of the birds of Minnesota was not long since 
taken east and sold, which would have been secured for our society 
but for the lack of means. 



Our sphere of usefulness is circumscribed by our poverty. If the 
legislature could be induced to increase the annual appropriation, we 
might publish our "Collections" annually, as we have an accumu- 
lation of interesting matter in manuscript, which we desire to put in 
more enduriufr and available form, and we are continuallv receivinn^ 
favors from sister societies which we would be glad to reciprocate. 
We would like also to bind some of the newspapers which liave been ac- 
cumulating on our hands, to purchase books for tlie librarv, and to 
extend historical research into departments yet unfatliomed. 

All of which is respectfully submitted, 

CHARLES E. MAYO, Secretary. 





One hundred and twenty-one years ago there were found, north Lake of 
Superior, several " large hnnps of the finest virgin copper." The finder 
wrote : " In the honest exultation of my heart at so important a discovery, 
I directly showed it to the Company, (Hudson's Bay Company) but the 
thanks I met with may be easily judged from the system of their conduct. 
The fact, without any inquiry into the reality of it, was treated as a chi- 
merical illusion, and a stop arbitraril}' put to all further search into the 
matter, by the absolute lords of the soil." 

The first attempt made to obtain copper from the Lake Superior region 
was by a company of adventurers from England, soon after the conquest 
of Canada, " but the distracted state of affairs in America obliged them to 
relinquish their scheme." The next effort was made in 1771, by a company 
who petitioned for, and obtained, a charter from the British Government. 
The partners, in England, were His Koyal Highness the Duke of Glou- 
cester, Mr. Secretary Townsend, Sir Samuel Tutchet, Baronet ; iMr, Bax- 
ter, Consul of the Empress of Prussia, and ]\[r. Cruickshank; in America, 
Sir AVilliam Johnson, Baronet, Mr. Bostwick, :Mr. Baxter and Alexander 

" In 1770 (says Henry,) Mr. Baxter, who had sailed for England, re- 
turned, bringing with him papers by which, with 3lr. Bostwick and him- 
self, I was constituted a joint agent and partner, in, and for, a company of 
adventurers for working the mines of Lake Sui^erior. "We passed the win- 
ter together at the Sault de Saiiite ^Earie, and built a barge, fit for the nav- 
gation of the lake ; at the same time laying the keel of a sloop of -forty- 
tons. Early in May, 1771, the lake becoming navigable, we departed from 
Point aux Pius, our ship yard, at which there is a safe liarboiir, and of 
which the distance from the Sault is three leagues. "NVc sailed for the Isl- 
and of Yellow Sands, ]»romising ourselves to make our fortune^, iu defi- 
ance of its serpents." After coasting about for five days, they returned to 
Point aux Pius, where they erected an air-furnace. The assay er luade a 
report on the ores which had been collected, stating tliat the lead ore con- 
tained silver in the proportion of forty ounces to a ton, " but the coiijx r 
ore, only in very small proportions indeed." Facts developed by recent 



explorations ^ro far to sliow, tliat the (lav is not far distant wlicji the silver 
mines of Lake Superior will rank auionii; liie most ))roli:ie in the world. 

Soon after testinur tiu' ores at Point aux J'ius, tlie expedition coasted 
westward for the mouth of the )n river. Henry says : '-Proims 
inf^ to ourselves to make a trial on the hill, till we were better able to ^o 
to work upon the soli.l rock, we l)uilt a Iiousl', and sent to the Sault de 
Sainte Marie lor jn'ovisions. At the snot })itched upon for the eommence- 
nient of our jireparations, a .sreen- colored water v/hieh tinu'ed iron of a 
copper color, issued from t'ae hill, and this tlie miners ctilled a leader, 
llavin*]^ arranged everytiiini;- for tiie ininers durinirthe winter, we returned 
to the Sault. Early in the sprinu" of" 1TT"2, we sent a boat load of provis- 
ions ; but it enine back on the dny of June, brinLii'ii:: with it, to our 
surjirise, the whole cstabli diinciU of miners. They rcjiorted, that in tlie 
course of the winter, they had penetrated forly feet into the hill ; but, that 
on the arrival of the thaw, the cliiy on v. hieh, on account of its stillhes?, 
they relied, and neglected to secure it by supporters, had fallen in ; — that 
to recommence their search vrould bi- attended with much labor and cost ; — 
that from the detaclud masses of riiet;-.! which, to the last, had daily })re- 
sented themselves, they supposed tleTc might be, ultimately, reached some 
body of the same, but could torm no conjecture of its distance." They 
concluded that the vrork would reiiuin- more men than could be fed ; and 
their operations in that quarter endt\l. 

A little over eighty-two years ago, the inde])endenee of the United States 
was acknowledged by Great iiritain, in a treaty concluded at Paris, in 
which the boundaries were auaveJ up:)n. Jiy reference to that instrument, 
it will be observed that the northern line, after striking thelliver St. Law- 
rence, follows up that stream to the great lakes, thence through the middle 
of the same, and their connecting rivers, to Lake Sujierior ; thence tlirough 
Lake SxipcnoY, nort/uc<ird of the Isles lioyal and Philippean, to the Long 
Lake, now known as Pigeon liiver ; thiis securing to what is now 3Iinne- 
sota, about one hundred and litty miles of the north shore of that inland 
sea, and believed to contain the richest cop})er and silver deposits known 
in the world. Benjamin Franklin was one of the commissioners to the 
treaty. It is sup]>osed that lie obtained in'formution in France of the rich- 
ness of that region ; and. to his gi-cat foresight, we are mostly indebted for 
that valuable acquisition. In fact, he wrote that the time' would come 
when the American peojjle would consider the part he took in securing 
that vast mineral region to them a>^ one of the greatest acts of ins life. 
Seventy-tive years after tlie death of thnt great and good man, the people 
of ^Minnesota are about to reali/(> the importance of the vast interests 
secured by that far-seeing statesman. 

On the r)th day of August. IS-ji;, Lewis C-ss and Thomas L. .^h lCenne}'^ 
commis<;i()ners on the pai1 of the United States, mtide and coj'cluded a 
treaty with the Chippewa Indians at F(^nd du Lac, Lake Superior, by which 
the Chijipewas granted to the United States tlie right to search I'or, and 




carry away, any mctal< or minerals from an}' part of their country. Xo 
eflbrts under this iri-ant wen* ever m ule ; but trom that i)eriod (and even 
before,) explorations, from lime to time, were iiiade Ia' individuals ; and 
many indications of rich mines, (now within tlie limits of .Minnesota,) 
were discovered. Licenses 'to trade wifh the Indians were obtained, — build- 
ings for the ostensible purpose of trade were erected, and j)OSsessi()n main- 
tained for many years, in hopes the Government would extinguish the 
Indian title to the hind, so that individual titles jnight be accjuired. Time 
and expense caused the abandonment of most of these points, and a con- 
sequent dissipation of the bright visions raised l,>y the knowledge of the 
wealth which was beyond the reach of the discoverers. 

Under the old i^ei init system, many Irjcations. three miles square, were 
made on Lake .SiiiM-i ior ; — several on and near t!ie ^lontreal river — some 
on Bad Kiver, soutii of La J^ointe — three on the main land, opi*o>ite La 
Pointe — two or three were made near Superior City, on the Xemadji, or 
Left Hand river, and one settler s claim about twenty miles north of Sui)e- 
rior. Several locations were made in tljc valley of the St. Croix river ; 
exijloratioU'r, to a limited extent, and recent developments, give great hojics 
that the rail-- of the Si. Croix may, at ]io distant day, con)i)ete with some 
of the town- of i.ake Siipc-ior in the shipment of coi)jK']-. Two of tlie 
mines south of Suix-rior are being Avorked, both giving assurances tluit 
success will iimply reward those engaged in the work. Last year, a 2\ew 
York company was formed for the ])urp()se of working one of the loca- 
tions on liad Iviver. Tlie woi-k was commenced, and lias been vigorously 
prosecuted with Hattering prospects. On the ^Oth of Sci)tcmber, lSo4, the 
Chi>)pewa Indians, by a treat}- made at La Pointe, ceded all tiicir lands on 
the north shore of Lake Superior to the United States ; thns removing all 
obstructions to xhr development of the rich mines within the limits of 
Minnesota. In the s:ime year, an association was foi-med by gentlemen 
residing in this slnte aufl Ohio lor the puri^we of securinga title to several 
well known locations within the country ceded, which purpose they accom- 
plished some four or five year-^ afterwards. Tiie association was known 
under the name of K. P,. Carlton A: Co. On the 2Sth day of September, 
ISoS, n meeting of the i'er.->._)ns composing the association was held in the 
city of Cleveland, Ohio, and, among others, the following actions were 
taken : 

Win.r.KAS, on the 2."»th tl;iy uf Soptcuibcr, 1854-, a portioi; of the uiidci-siirncd entered into an 
agreement for tlio j.uri>oso of obt;iining Mineral Loc;itio!i5 and Lamls in what is now the State of 
Minnesota, \\li;rh As.^uciation was known >'y the name of 11 P.. Carlton tt Co : and KhcreuH 
certain lauds and h)L:iii"H^ have been secured under said agreement, tlu- lei,'al and oquitaiiio 
titles of which are li.'ld in Mio iiidiviilual name or names of st)Hie of liie un lersiirncd, or .-<>nie 
other person or person. . luu i;i tru<t fur tlio ^aid .Xs.-ueiation : and uhorcitu, the title to o:i;< r 
lands is in proe. -- "d' Iroin.;.' sicured. which, wl. on .^eeared, will be in the in.ii\i<iual nauu> ..r 
names of some "f ti;>- under>i;4ni'd, (.r .voinv otiio;- per^tMi, but for the use of the under>ii;nod : 
and ■ic/i' >\'(rs, it Im onteinjdau-d utiier Laii'Is and .Mines maybe procured or rc<iuircd: 
and u/tereas, tlie «d the parties to ^.lid original agreement liave been by a^.^icnmen^ 
transferred with the a^^el.l of all the ])ariies thereto and hereto, so that all the L;inds, Mu'c.-, 



n!Hl benefit-:, socufc-.l or iUteniptod t«) he ^t•(■llro■l, uinlor an<l hy virtue of original agrecinerit. 

And this agrci'ineiit sImU be into ci.;,'ltty Sir.ire^ or Parts, and arc now owned and held 
ji^ follow.-. : tt.-wif . 

John S. Watroiis. sharnrs. i-qiial to '2-SOths. 

Reuben B. Car'.ron. oit;ht shaves, eriual to 8-SOths. 

Jo^iah Talhnadu'O, four shares, ffjual to 4-SOths. 

Joioph W. Lynde, six s!ia-e-. equal to C-80ihs. 

Goor;,'e E. X.ntleton, four ^hares, r-nual to 4-SOtUs. 

William H. Xs-'wton, four shares, equal to 4-80[lis. 

Kdwin A. C. Kaich, ei.^'ht <bar»>i5, e(iual to 8-80ths. 

.Tubix T. Xowtoii, tuo >l!.ires, equal to 2-S0th3. 

Henry 13. Payne, throe su.ires. cc^ual to 3-SOths. 

II J. Jowett. ?!.\- shares, eriual to C-SOths. 

Paine Wade, three share ..tiual to 3-S')ths. 

Jnliep. A. 11. Ilasbrourk. six shares, equal to G-SOths. 

James p,. r»eek. four shares, equal to 4-SOthj:. 

Charles E. Kittenhouse. four shares, equal to 4-Suths. 

Jool D. Cruttondon, four ^'aaros, equal co 4-SOths. 

Nathan Myrick. four shari.s, equal to 4-SOths. 
Trustee.'- herein nu-ncion,' 1 for t!ie^ and purpo-sos herein expressed, eight shares, equal 
'.o S-8'V^hs. 

Now. it is acrr-jcd and srijval iti>d by all thr; parties liorcto, as follows, to-wit: that all the lands, 
niiiieral Ive '.lilies ami pron M-ty of e erv ]:ind and description, which has alread\- been, and all 
whieli shall I.ei-c iftiT be s<'cured. -urider or in pursuance of said first mentionetl apreetnent, and 
tin's airreeniont .-U-ilibe conveyed to Ii, nry 1'.. Payne, Robert F. Payne, and Edwin A. C. I! itch, 
to !u! hcM by tliom, tb.e survivor aii-l sr.rvivors of them, who shall hold the legal title of the 
- Miic, in trust for the uses and purpose-, .uid upon the terms and conditions herein expressed, 
.ind for no orher }ii;rj.o>i-s, co;idit;o:i> '-r r. '.ms, and with all the powers, authorities and priv- 
ii>".;es heroin »'\pre?scd. 

lion. Ileniy ]]. PriViv^, of Clcrdand, was appointed Prosiidciit, and Ja.s. 
Wndc. jr., Socretaiy. Cert ilicM of stock were issued. TJie ne.xt nieet- 
in'^^ of the stockliolder^ w:i>; called hy the trustee.^;, and held at Bayfield, 
Wi>con-in, July 27, Ifi'i:), whicli meetin:^: adioiirned to Du Lnth, Minnesota, 
where it convened. July ]s )o ; and on the 8d of tlie next month, xVug- 
e-r, on motion of ]]. F. Pain'\ it was nnnnimon.^ly resolved, that they pro- 
ceed to or^iranize two con.ipaiiie"^ under the laws of ^linnesota. lion. Geo. 
L. ii'-eker presented drafrs of nicies of a^^ocia.tions for a corporation to 
l)e known as the Xorth Sliore jlinlivj; Company ; and, also, another cor- 
poratif)n to be kiiown as the Frencli IJiver Mininii; Company, •which were 
•'pproved, atknowk'-u'ed Ity the corj Krmtors, and ordered to be placeil on 
record as rei[uired by lav.-. Tlie ( aiutal stock in each company was >ViOO,- 
<bK>. divided in 0,U;M> ^liaic- of each. The lirst meetini;- of the corpo- 
r.ttovsand stockholders of each of said new conii>anies was held in Cleve- 
land, Ohio, Xv)venroer v!, l^-o, at which nieetim:; the " French Uiver .^^in- 
in^^ Coni[>any " and riie " XoiMh Shore '.M ininu- Comp.iny " were ori:-aui/.ed 
by the eh'Ction of l);)ards of five vlirectors each — three, residents of Ohio, one 
of tiu' city of Xew York, and one of the S^ate of Minnesota. Tlie direct- 
():-s (,rL;-:iui3li.'d by a[)p.)in', in^' iIo;i. IF-nrv 15. 1^1ym^ nr-sident, and James 
\Vade, jr., 'Secretary and tn^asiirer. The iruxfces of the Carlton Co. 
assoeiation eonv(y( d to the " French Ixiver Minino- Com)>any " the .south- 




west quarter, aiul lots Xos. aii'l 4 of section Xo. 17, in town 51 north of 
ran.ije 12, wc^t, in Saint Louis (-(ainty, Minnesota, eontainini; lO') Ii'»-1<)(» 
acres. Tli" tru- Cos Ci)n\-cy('(l to tlu; "XorthSiiore Minini: Company " the 
80Ulh-eaU ciuarlcr of section "i"), town o2, range west, in >anu* county, 
During tlu' year 18(34, a slial't was sunk, by the Xorth Shore Company, to 
the depth of 20 feet, and hy Frencii Kivcr Company, 40 feet — both giving 
indications of valuable results. 

At a meetinu- of llie stockholders, heUl on the ()th of July. lSi;4, Gen. A. 
S. Sanford, of Cleveland, was clio.--en president, in ])lace of T[. J>. Payne. 
rCvsigned, but who s'ill remains asoneot the directors. The French Jiiver 
Co.npany sent up men, tools, and supjdies sufticient to prosecute the w ork, 
day and night, during the winter. The work is in cliarge of Frank Salis- 
bury, w'lio is sinking a shaft oiu- l:un Ired and lift}' feet from the old one, 
with tlie intention ot drifting from one to the other, I have, i)erhaps, 
gone too much into detail: but if the anticipations of those who have given 
this subject much ittention sliall be rcnli/ed, the silent operations and 
large exi)enditures that have been m;ide, will, liereafter, render any facts, 
connected with the first develoj^n /nts of the mineral wealth of 31inne- 
sota, interesting in the future, iiut a few yeans ago, those eu'^iiged in de- 
veloping the copper mines on Luke Supei'ior, Avithin the state of ^lichigan, 
were looked upon as visionary speculators. The C(Mnpletion of the Sault 
St. Mary canal gave such facilities a'^ enabled then\ to di-aw ciipital from 
all parts of the Tnited States and to cmvince the most ;;keptical that the 
basin of that vast inland sea contained untold wealth. Of the many mines 
-in succe.^^sful operation, a sin file one — the (^uincy, yielded, the past season, 
3,102,502 pounds, or 1,551 tons, 5:52 pounds of copper, worth one million 
five hundred thouNand dollars. When we have communication by railroad 
to the liead of lake navigation, the most skeptical cannot over rate the 
mineral wealth tliat will be developed, nor the commercial advantages 
that will inure to the state — enriching and infusing new life into every 
city, town and hamlet. 


[P.y A. J. llill, of St. I'aiil; at t!ie re<iiiest of tlto ^liime^^ota Historical Sociftj-.] 

Though narratives of the fortunos of (.'arly {'X[)lorcrs of a country can- 
not, in general, throw any lii^^ht u|V)u its history, apart from their travels 
in the reg'ion itself, yet such recitals or biographies may still be useful in 
onablin us to form juster opinions of the aeeouuts given by tlu; travelers 
of their disc:)veries, from ll'.e knouiechvo atlordeil as to character, attain- 
ments and position. 

Of the subjec-t of th's article, till within n few years, nothing was known 
to us, 3[innes:)tians, beyond the little to be gleaned from his own books of 
travel and fr,-> n the ii:irrative of the expedition of ^lajor Long ; and even 
these work-; are so out of dale th;it tlie name of Ileltrami is unfamiliar to 
our ears, flis life is like the bridge in the vision of 3[irza — we sec but the 
middle of it — the beginning and end are hid in obscurity. The recent pub- 
lication, in Italy, of biographicil notices of this traveler, has furnished 
the means of sup])!ying the deticiency of information concerning him ; and 
at the request ot the Historical Society of ^[innesota, the present memoir 
has been compiled, as a fitting contribution to its " Collections." 


No doubt, at the thn" our traveler visited the United States, more or less 
was said concerning him in the journals of the day ; and that he was vio- 
lently assMile l by writers of that time is shown in his own books; but 
^uch accounts, apj)earing in Heeling papers, are now entireh' inaccessible, 
and indeed would be of but little interest or value if they couM be found. 

Hitherto, therefore, our knowledge of Beltrami was derived from three 
books only, M'hich Avere : 

1. A work, i)ubli<hed b}' himself at Xew Orleans in 1824, entitled '"La 
Decouverte des Sources du 3Iissij;sii-»i)i et de la Kiviere Sanglante," one vol., 
8vo pp. ;)'28. 2. " Keatiiig's Xarrative of Louo:'s Expedition to the Sources 
of the St. Peter's Kiver, ^-c," Philadelphia, 1824 ; and 3. ''A Pilgrimage 
in Europe and America, leading to the Discovery of the Sources of the 
Mississippi and Bloody River, with a description of the whole course of 
the former, and of tl)e Ohio. By J. C. J3eltrami, Es{[, formerly judge of a 
royal court in the ex -kingdom of Italy." London, 1828 ; 2 voliunes. 8vo., 
pp. lOii:}. 

The tirst of these is a narrative siniply of his tour in the west, from 
l*ittsburg to the iu-ad waters of the ^Mississippi, and thence to Xew Or- 
leans, written in Frcneli, and in the form of letters addressed to a friend, 
the Countess (Joiii})</!,noii >'■ born I\i-<.-<i ri ^Eajor Long's book contains ])ut 
one or two references to Brltrmni, ;ind those of a depreciating character. 
The exact natui'e of the di>agreement between the two gentlemen is not 



known, nor would it be riuiit. to exhunic jind display it, if it coidd be dono. 
All f:imiH;ir witli tlic hi-toiy " ( Xpcditions " must have noticed how off 
C'li coolness or ruptuic liavc oecirre I between leadinL^ nif ii ot'sucli j^r. lies, 
arising; from arrn'_ia)i( e. i'-aloii^y, or incompatibility of tenqter. Tlie Pil- 
grimage" of P>i lira;ni ';ives an aeeoiiiu of his Kuropean travels previous 
to Ids cominu- in tlic I'ldied Stales, and then embodies his former work 
which he seems ni ■rriy tn have t;-ar;dat(.'d into EnL;lish. without other 
alterations than a li. \v vrrbal np's. 

A synopsis of the personal history tountl in the above works i> as 
follows : 

Tic had been an oi'tieial of the e\-k:n.!:do)n of Italy, end was sent into 
exile without trial — traveled iii France, Germany, and Eniiland, inls-2l--2 
— went to the Tidied Slates in lx-2:>, and descended the Ohio river to its 
mouth ; tiience, in company Vv iih ^lajor Taliaferro, embarked for the L'l)- 
per 3[ississippi_:-eached Fort Si. Anthony fSnelling) May :jO, iS'2-], 
whence he had ex})eeled to aeconipany 3laJor T. up the river St Peter — 
at that time unrxi>)ored — with the inteiilion of ])!oeeeding furtlu r, ri^'.vard 
the sources of tlie Missi>s!j)p!, also ue.known. P.ut circumstances di l not. 
admit of that, and he v/as on ihe point oi' ehanuluL;- his direction for tiie 
S(nith, by tvaver^in^- by la.nd, the wild tracts lyin-- between the Fort 
Council lilulis, wheii Mai')!- Lonij: and his ]>a.rty anexjH'Ctedly arrived, 
lie accompanied this ex[)e.dirton, which left the Fort on the 7th of Jidy, as 
far as Pc.'inblna, where he (pairt -il it. on the !)th of Auuust, and with a. O-vAv 
br/flr. and the two Cd\i]ipewas o.niy, tor connjaulon>, i>lu]iged into the wil- 
derness lying to the south ea>t, and struck ' Jobber's" (Thief) river near 
its coijtluence nith lied Lake liivcr, ( whicli he ("dl- "Bloody Kiver," and 
insists that it is the true lied Ptiver.) He tlu-n followed the course of the 
latter stream to Fr;l L ;kv-, whenc e, aftei- visiting its sout'h shore, he a-«cend- 
ed the river of tlie ( Portage to its sources at a smaU lake on a !dll 
where he arrived on tlic ^-^th, an.l wliich, on "the theory of the ancient 
geographers, that the sources (d' a ri\'er which are most m a riLili! line 
with its mouth, -honlit be considered as i[s principal sources, anil partic!;- 
larly wIk.'U t'ley i.^/ac from a cardinal point and How to the one direetiy 
opposite," lie maintainetl lo "he the !ie:ul of the Red Kiver of the ^Torth. 
This hdvc he al-^o desci-i!i<-d a-; -upplying the inosi northern sources of the 
]\Iississippi ; ae>d on that urouiul, andad-o tha.t th.ey had been previously im- 
known, re--ted his eladms as a iivogra [)hlcal discoverer. He named the lake 
"Julia," from a dear friend of his, decea.sed. [.Moroni -a.ys. "after the 
woman of his la art ;" ) and tlic stream issuing southwardly from it, the 
" Jidian >oui-ces oi' the .Mississiippi." The present Itasca L;ike he referred 
to as called by the 1 ndiar.s " ]]iteh Lake," ( Lac la. Pdche— " Elk " Lake,) and 
as l.K'ing most probably the " western source.> of the Mississippi'-." After 

•*S<'o hy(lrf-M-;ii>hii ;U <!i-riis>i<in h\ C<A. V> hiltlt-oy, njiiu'iidcl to tlii? memoir. 



lisccM.lin^- Lr-cr-li Lake JiivcT, and visitiivj the lake itself, ])e returned by 
the Mis-is<ij)!»i to the Fort, iForr Snt liinLf) arrivintr then,' the 30tli of Sop- 
ninoer, and tliene- di-cendi.d to New ()ile;i.n<. ^vhere, in the sprin<^ ol" 
l^^'Jl, he j)ii1)li-iied tiie French a'eeount of lii^ travels. 
Jle now di>api»ear> from our view. 


Gabricle K<».-a,of Ije'-sjanio, Lonihardy, an author of note, furnisliod to 
the lit rUir of Veniee. (lievista Vencta") a eon]de of paper> on this traveler, 
\\ hioh ai^iUMfetl April '20 and '21, l^oG. and \\ ere reprinted, at Jieriranio, 
in li^til, under the tii'e, "(^f the Fife and AVrit iiiLrs of Constantine Bcllrami 
of JJern'aino, Discoverer of tlie Source-^ of tlie ^Fississipj)! (Delia vita e 
»le<,di scritti di Coc^taniino Deltranii da Berganio, scopritore ddle fonti dd 
y\ ississippi) — a paniplilet of 84 paires octavo. On beinir apjdied to, thronirli 
the })Ost, the author eourteonsly sent several copies (»f his little wo: k to 
the United states — to the writer of this pajier — besides furnishinl,^ in his 
h-tters, information in rejdy to inquiries. 

In consequence of tliis correspondence, which took place in 18Co-4, the 
municipality of the same city formed the ])lan of publishin^^ and dedicating 
U^ the Historical Society of j[inncsota, a work wiiich should be a pro])er 
memorial of him who wa^ liieir countryman and so deservin.o: of honor^ 
This book \\ a> brouiiht out in the beginning of 18G5 and is entitled "Co- 
■-tantino l^eltranii da Bi rgamo — Xotizie e letterc pubblicate i)er cura del 
nuiir!cii)io di Bergamo e dcciicate alia societa storica di 3Iinncsota." It is 
a small but liandsome quarto of lo-J- pages and contains : \. As a front- 
i-pieie, a photograph trom the fidllength portrait of Beltrami, painted liy 
Professor Enrico Scuri, a;u1 ]H'esented to the puldic. '2. An elegant dedi- 
catory i^reface, addre--ed to the Society, and signed by the members of th(> 
city council. :]. The papers of Signore Rosa, before mentioned. 4. A 
h-eture on the >ame siibieet e.s the i>receding, deliA'cred by Count Pietro 
-Moroni, in V<)^), before the Athena-un\ of llergamo, and o. Letters from 
(-^iiateaulirianil and otiier eminent men, addres-ed to liiin, also (me from 
l»is own i)en. 

Fiom tliese sources, our knowledge of Ijcltrami lias been i)crfected, and 
the facts so obtained are now given — mo.-lly in the forn\ of a clo<e trans- 

■1. 0. lifltrami ((4iae;viio Coslauiim) 15.) wa^ born at I>ergamo, in ITTli, 
hi- parents i)elii-j: Giamb;itti-ia Jieltrami of that city, atid Cattei'ir.a Ca- 
ro/zi <»f Fo'.uita. His father was ;i man of linr presence, and of note from, 
hi- po-iiiou :is (atsto'n-hoiise ofnccr of tlu- Venetian ivpni)lic, a.nd also by 
'•' ;t-..n of courteous manner.-. There ere ten chiUlren, of v\ lu)m our 
't' ;o,r'(wistantine, was the younge-i. It ;ii>])ecir.- that there ^\ r.s n tradition 
•n tile lamiiy cf it- beisig derived from JL Itrnnfl n,:« (h>th.% wlio lied from 
I'.'-ri^ at the time of SI. J^ari h<>lomi w in l.")7'2, and look refuge at Bergamr) 
iiMiler the sheli.jri'jg wing of the Venetian republic— model in those times 



of political and rcli.irious toUu-ation. (\)iistaiitine \va=! \n\- \ to the law ; 
and altliouf^li lie i)os^csscd a restless s|)irit, desirous of adventure, and iliat 
when lie was just ten years old the great public commotion^ that after- 
wards shook all Europe were beuinnina", yet his natural talriit j)rf)nij»i'-d 
him to the acciuisition of the J.atin and (ireek literature, to which after- 
wards, from his experience in jniblic atlairs, was added a rich store of geo- 
graphical knowledire, and, tinally, a familiarity with the modern languaLres. 
The courage and adventurous will that shone in him at forty-four impelled 
him, in his youthful vigor, to abandon the paternal liou^e for military 
affairs; and being brought to the notice of men high in otticc, friends of 
the famil}', and shortly opening the way by his own abilities, lie became 
vice-inspector of the armies; but, disgusted with occupations so far below 
his higher aspirations, he returned to civil pursuits. At the age of twenty- 
eight, in ISOT, he became chancellor of tlie French department^ of the 
Stura and the Tanaro, and soon after judge of the court ?A Udirie. There, 
by his fine intellect and untiring zeal, lie gained the praises of his superi- 
ors who testilied to him their high sati> liiction, as appears by many of their 
letters. Such expressions of approval were confirmed by his appointment 
as judge of the civil and criminal court of .Macerata. In 1^X2, being atilict- 
ed with a severe disease, and liaving received permission, he left his ])osi 
for a time, and visited PMorence, wheie he formed relations w ith the Duke 
of Monteleone, and with the Countess of Albany — the friend of Alticri 
and Foscolo — who atterwards. in time of danirer, ))roie( ted him by her 
counsels and influence. For the extraordinary activity shown by him in 
certain important matters the supreme judge, minister of justice, in a let- 
ter addressed to him in 1818, praised his zeal and acquirenu nts, prophesy- 
ing his promotion to the chair of the president of the court of Forli, for 
which the i)rince viccro}' had proposed him for the imperial sanction of 
France. However, the cloud tliat shortly rose and darkened the political 
horizon of the Empire, and of the Italian kingdom, hindered any further 
transmission of names. From Florence he was hurriedly recalled by Poe- 
rio — at that time minister extraordinary of the King of the Two Sicilies, 
for the southern Italian departments. When the Austrians occupied the 
Marches, he retired to his estates at Filotrano, not far from Macerata. 
whence, from ISIO to ISll), he made excursions to Xaples. lunne. and Flo- 
rence. It api)ears that in some way he became involved in carbonarism ; 
for in 18*21, although sick, and hardly able to stand upon his feet, he had 
to leave the Homagna and go into exile. 

Immediately ixi'tcr his travels in tlu; r( '^loii of the Upj^-r Mis-is^ijipi. he 
embarked at New Orh ans, iu lS3k for Mexir-o, and travelled tlia.t country 
from ocean to ocean. He returned from the United States to Fondon in 
18'2f) or 1827. The revolution of July called him to Paris, where we soon 
find him in amicable epistolary relations with the Count D'Apony, the 
Austrian embassador, to w hom, in a letter written on the 10th of Augu.>t, 


1S30, a few days after the revolution, lie oflVred liis services towards ame- 
liorating the condition of his native country. At the same time, he car- 
ried on a correspondence with IJenJamin Constant, with Lafayette and La- 
lllte. lie participated in the theories of the Napoleonists of his time, and 
aspired for the elevation of the nations, and especially for that of Italy. 
In 1S34, the Scientific Cong-ress at Stuttgard being in session, Beltrami was 
sent to it to represent the Historical Institute of France, accredited there- 
for by the perpetual secretary, Mons. de Monghivc, who did not hesitate 
to style him one of the most honorable and distinfiuished of that scientitic 
association. Shortly after, he went to Heidelberg, where he acquired a 
small landed estate which he lived on for two years. In 1837 we lind him 
at Vienna ; then, shortly, at I'ome, and so — now here, now there — he lived 
till ISoO, when, finding himself bowed down by the weight of years, he 
returned to his property at Filotrano, where, amongst his early friends, he 
placidly passed the remainder of life, and where, in February, I800, he 
died, having completed his seventy-fifth year. 

Beltrami was a man of frank and sincere soul — an enemy of all flattery, 
and capable of unparalleled self denial. In proof of the latter, it is re- 
lated that although he suspected that the cases of articles sent by him from 
America had been opened and plundered on their arrival at Florence, yet, 
to avoid the bitterness of certainty of such fact, he would never consent to 
their being examined during his lifetime, desiring that it should only be 
done by his heirs, — as so ha]ipencd. 

In the desire to be more generally read, he Avrote everything in foreign 
languages, for which indeed he can hardly be blamed, iiaving to print his 
works out of Italy. A complete list of his published writings is as fol- 
lows : 

1. Deux mots sur lies i^romenades dc Paris et Licerpool. Philad'a., 1823, 

2. La Dccouvcrte des Sources du Mi-isiaaippi, dc. New Orleans, 1824. 
(Previously mentioned). 

3. A ril(jrimaric in Europe and America, tC-c. London, 1828. (Previ- 
ously mentioned), 

4. Le Mexique. 2 vols. 8vo. Paris, 1830. 

5. V Italic et L' Europe. Paris, 1834. 

G. Letter to tue Secretarjj of the Historical Institute of France, (in 
French). Heidelberg, 183(). (Preprinted in the Bergamo city memorial). 

The Indian curiosities and other articles brought by Beltrami to his na. 
tive country from tlie region of our ]>resent 3Linnesota, together with his 
^IS. papers tVc., were presented liy his heir, a nephew, shortly after his 
death, to the lil)r;iry of Bergamo, the munici)>ality of which city cause- 
them to be ju-operh' dis[)layed in the vestibule of the building. Signore 
P^osa, Ids chief eulogist, says, in a private letter, that there is no genuine 
portrait 'of him extant; — tlie one Viy Professor Scuri being drawn from 
the engraving in the " Pilgrimage,'' and from ti'adition. 




Major Lawrence Taliaferro, of Beaufort, P(>nii,, a soMier of 1812. wlio 
from the year 1810 to 1840, acted as Agent for Indian Atl\iir^ for the tribes 
of the north--\vest, and Avhoyet lives in the memories of ilie Sioux, to whom 
he was known as Mahza Bakah or Iron Cutter, furnished, under date of 
the 4th of April, 1S('»G, the following information concerning liis friend 
Beltrami : 

** I was in "Washlnsiton in 1833 relative to my official connection with the 
north-western tribes of Minnesota ; whilst on my return, in ^March, to my 
post, I found a note, or card, at a hotel in Pittsburg, from BL-ltrumi, asking 
permission to bear me company to the Falls of 8t. Anthony. AVhen I saw 
him, his presence and manner at once obtained my confidence, and leave 
was granted to do so. "We passed together down the Ohio, and up the 
Mississippi to Fort Snelling, I divided my quarters with him : and Col. 
Snclliug and lady invited him to take his meals at their hospitable table. 

"Beltrami was six feet high, of commanding appearance and some forty- 
five 3'ears of age; proud of bearing, and quick of temi)er. high sjiirited, 
but always-the gentleman. He expressed an earnest wish to explore the 
sources of the ^lissi^sippi. I gave him a pass])ort to go where he pleased, 
and instructed the Chippewas of Otter Tail, and other lakes, to see him 
safely through their country, should he seek assistance. Sliortly after this 
desire, ]Major Long, of the Topographical Engineers, with his cori)s, ar- 
rived. Beltrami was introduced to Major L. and permission granted 31 r. 
B. to accomi)any the party to Pembina. At Pembina, a dilhculty occurred 
between 3lajor Long and Beltrami, when the latter sold his horse (my 
horse) and equipments, and in company with a half breed, passed near 
the line of 41)0 to the sourees of the 3Iississi])pi. His sufferings were of no 
agreeable nature. Here, near Leech Lake, lie fell in witJi a sub-chief, the 
' Cloudy Weather,' most fortunately, who knew ^fr. ]>., having seen him 
in one of my councils at the agency. This old man was given, by signs, 
to know that "white man wanted to descend the river. The chief took our 
Italian friend in his eanoe, and turned down stre;jm. Indians are pro- 
verbially slow, hunting and fishing on the way; ]]eltranii lost all pa- 
tier.ce,— abused his Indian crew,— made many menaces, c^ c. The ' Cloud ' 
tapped him on the hat with his pipe stem, as much as to say. ' I will take 
you to my father safe if you will be still.' The old chief told of this t( m- 
per of my frienil, but 31 r. B. never made allusioii to it, but was very grate- 
ful to his kind Pillager friends. 

"Beltrami liad been in the miiitaiy service; — was judge of a court. 1 
touched hin\ at times wiiii the ap])ellation of Count ; ' AN'ho is your dear 
Countess to whom you address many allectionate letter> /— ' Xot my wife," 
said he; ' but a lovely woman ; and if you would replace the in your 
name, [Tagliaferro] and come with me to Italy— the home of your ances- 
tors — I would nuike you happy in her comi)any.' 

mj:nnesota historical society. 


"That the tour of ^Ir. li. wa^: not alto^otlitT abortive, I have lull reason 
t«) believe. lie explained by his notes to me his whole route, j)ut tlie dis- 
covery of the true sources corrc(;tly, as otiicrs have since done, — incbiding 
the distinguished Xicollet. To learn the habits of the Indian tribes was 
nltnost a mania with him. He had every facility ; — ])is greatest anxiety 
was, before he left Italy, a< he stated to me, to ex])lore the wildest j)ortion 
of the continent, north and west, — to see as many of the noble Xorth Amer- 
ie.m Indians as possible. He seemed fond of adventure. I saw he was 
dispirited for the lack of means ; — he did not deny it wlien questioned del- 
icately on this point. 

" In conversing of Italy and Italian affairs, he hesitated not to speak very 
broadly about the highest ecclesiastical dignitary, touching whom he often 
h)st his patience. Beltrami was a patriot, and undoubtedly of note, and 
had sutlered persecution." 


Xo further direct information concerning Beltrami, personally, can be 
added to the preceding; and enough undoubtedly has been said to fdl the 
blank hitherto existing, and to place him properly b( fore the pcojde of 
!\[innesota, to tlie majority of whom his name is totally unknown. There 
remains, however, to supplciiient this monograph, one more ta-k to be 
performed, at some future time, when the territory lie independently ex- 
plored shall have been surveyed and m-ipped by the deputies of the Gen- 
eral Land Office, and that is the examination and verification of the route 
traveled by him, and of the lakes and rivers he visited, in order to restore 
and bring into popular use, so far as practicable, the names he gave to 
many pla.ces ; though he named only certain lakes, streams and islands, 
hitherto undistinguished. 

The Legislature, last winter, at the instance of the Historical Society, 
and in conformity with the custom of naming some of the counties of a 
territory or state after its early explorers, established a county by the name 
of lieltrami ; which extends from the first " range line " below the mouth 
of Turtle liiver, on the cast, to the line between ranges 38 and '10 on the 
we<t, and from the line between townships 154 and on the north to the 
north line of Beecher county, and to the ^Mississippi on the south. This 
county comprehends the region of the head of Bloody River," and 
is in area about 4,000 stpiare miles — subject to reduction and modilication 
of boundary it is true; but, it is to be hoped, always to retain the same 
name, and to include the "Julian Sources ot' the ^lississippi " Avithin its 
limits. Of this act of legislation, his triend, ]\lajor Taliaferro says, " It is 
a high compliment ; — one Avell deserved, and creditable to the movers and 
State;" and all lovers of justice "who read Jleltrami's own words will re- 
joice that his claiuis have at last been officially n,'C0gni/ed. 

In reference to the opportunity he had of j)erpet uating his own name in 
the Indian territory by giving it an archipelago, as he terms it, of the 3Iis- 
sissippi— the present "Thousand Islands," situated a mile or two below 



St. Cloud — lie wrote, " After my doatli, men will dispose of my name as 
God will of my soul, according; as I shall have well or ill deserved durini; 
my life ; and I leave to my friends, and to those who have had opportuni- 
ties of becoming acquainted with my heart, the charge of defending my 
memory, should it ever be attacked by injustice or prejudice." 



In reference to tlic question as to which stream we should look to for 
the right source of the 3[is>i.>.sipiH, the following article has been prepared 
by Col. Charles Whittlesey — a man well known to the reading public, not 
only by his explorations and contributions to the stock of knowledge con- 
cerning the geology and physical geograi)]iy of tlie Xortli AVest, but by 
his writings on the earthworks and other relics of the aboriginal inhabit- 
ants of the same region : 

"Cleveland, O., 3rarch28, 18G0. 
"Turtle Lake, at the head of Turtle River, which discharges into Cass 
Lake, is the most northerly of the waters of the Mississippi. Mr. School- 
craft claims that Itasca Lake and its tributaries constitute tlie true source 
of the Great River, because these streams arc further from the mouth than 
any other. "Whether tliis, if true, is a correct mode of fixing the head 
waters of rivers, I must be allowed to doubt. It seems to me that the 
largest brancli forms the river, and the heads of that branch constitute the 

" When I was on the upper waters of the Mississippi, in September 184S, 
I compared the quantity of water llowing from Lake Winnibigoshi^h with 
that from Leecli Lake, as far as observations without gauging enabled me 
to do it. At that time I judged the discharge from the Leech Lake branch 
to be three times as much as from Lake "Winnibigoshish, and one of our 
voyageurs, who was raised in the region, said it generally discharged twice 
as much. The distance from tlie junction of the Leech Lake branch, be- 
low Winnibigoshish, to the most distant sources of the various branches, 
does not appear to me to be materially different. Among the hundreds 
of small streams converging into, and passing through nearly as many 
lakes, there cannot be said to be a main or separate river above tliis junc- 
tion. From this point, the ^Mississippi assumes its proper characteristics, 
as one stream, to the gulf of 3Iexico ; but above it, the branches are ex- 
cessively numerous. l>(.'low the junction, it is two chains wide, with a 
broad regular current, having the same imposing features which it retains 
to its mouth. Tlu^ furthest streams that discharge into Leech Lake rise to 
the south, interlocking with the waters of Pine River ; but, if wc can rely 
upon our maps— of a region as yet unsurvcyed — the development of these 
branches, including the lakes through which they pass, equals in length 
the Itasca branch. 

" Our missionaries at Cass Lake said the Turtle River discharged more 
water than Bcmidji River, which enters Cass Lake from Itasca Lake." 


[By Hon. H. M. Rice, of St. Paul.] 

On the 20th day of January, 170G, uhcn the American Congress was in 
session in Pliiladelj^hia, a Bill wa.s reported for establishing land oflices for 
the sale of lands in the Xorth-western Territory. It was under di.sciission 
until Ai)ril of the same year iu tlie House of Picprcsentativcs. A great 
diversity of o})iiii(ni existed ; some were in favor of .selling in small tracts 
of fifty acres — otliers contended that none should be surveyed or sold in 
less than township tracts. Some favored a Bill that would retain the lands 
for actual settlers, others were for disposing of as much of the public do- 
main as possible, and at the highest price, for the purpose of paying the 
public debt. For a long time, they could not agree upon the price. >[r. 
Williams, of Xew York, ^aid " it was as necessary that the country should 
be settled as that the land sliould be sold. Or shall it be .said that the hon- 
est, industrious settlers shall make roads, bridges, and other improvements, 
whilst the rich holders keep their lands iu hand until these improvements 
are made, in order to increase the value of themy'' Mr. AVilliams, un- 
doubtedly, took a correct view of the ca.'je. The Bill, as linally agreed upon, 
established the ollice of Surveyor General, under the following title : Aa 
Act providi'//f/ for the scJeof the Linds of the United States, i)i the Territoru 
KorJi iccst of the n'nr Ohio, and above the mouth of Kentucky ra'tr." On 
the 18tli of May, 170'), the Bill was approved by receiving the signature of 
George AVa.'^hlngton. The oftice was first opened at ^[arietta, Ohio, under 
Rufus Putnam, Surveyor General. In 1804 it was removed to Yincennes ; 
— in 1805 to Cincinnati ; — iu 1814 to Chillicothe; — in 1829 it was removed 
back to Cincinnati, where it remained until 184."), Avlien it was removed to 
Detroit. In ^fay. 1^">7, the otfice was again, and for the last time, removed 
to St. Paul. It now has in its cu'^tody the original correspondence for its 
establishment in 17l.i(), which, undoubtedly, contains mauy important facts 
and reminiscences that would not only fully pa}' for their perusal, but 
might furnish historical points of great value. Through it, the^past and 
present are connected. There can be found the workings under the origi- 
nal act under which no lands could be surveyed in tracts of less than G40 
acres, nor sold for less than two dollars per acre ; and out of this has grown 
our admirable system, which places within the reach of every man a home, 
be he rich, or be he poor. 



[rroparcd by A. J. Hill, of St. Paul, and accepted for publication by the Minnesota Ui^torical 



Nicr»];is Frrrot, wlio.-^c name i.s already well known to the readers 
of the earlv history of ^Finnesota. wa.s horn in lG44. and repaired, 
at an early age, to New France, where ho resided, alQiost habitually, 
from IGGO to 1GS9, ani<»nL^-^t the diverse races of its most distant 
part — the extremity of the aiiglo formed by the valleys of the St. 
Lawrence and of tlio ]\nssissippi. At first simple coarrur dn hoi.^ 
by trade (1GG5-1GS4), and interpreter incidentally (IGTl-lTOl), h.; 
was at last, under the successive nrorerrnnents of ^1. M. de la Barre. 
Denonviile and Frontenac (IGSi-lGDO), charired with a command 
analairous to that of our chiefs of Arab bureaux in Algeria." In his 
capacity of interprettT, he was present at the convocation of the 
trii)es at 8'.i'nt'>}fnriH-da-SiiuU. where, on the l4th of June, 1G71, 
the French goverinnent assumed the sovereignty of the" regions be- 
yond the Great Lakes. Nearly eightcjcn years later, on the Stii of 
^fay, IGSO, ht' himself, acting as principal agent, took formal jios-es- 
sion, in the name of tins King of France, of all the country visited 
by him, or that might be visited, from Green Bay to the regions b.'>- 
yoTid the St. Ch-oix and St. Peter. Subsequent to 1718, no infor- 
mation concerning him can be obta/ned. 

The writings of Perrot are as follows : 

1. Jf"/iwrrc si.rr Ic-^ Oiit'i'/'n/u's, addrcsse, an ^farqnl.'^ de Vai/drenif . 

2. Pliisii iirs mriiioLr'is; taut sur h'.s rjiu rrc^ des Iroquois co)itre Jes Illi- 
nois el Ic.'i nations d'eu haut, que snr Ics tridiisons dcs sauvcujes, den jmr- 
ticalicr, des Otdaouais et dr-s Ilurons. 

3. Mciu'jir»i sur hs laorvrs, cou.stumts, et rclligion des sauvajes de 
r A rnrriqne *S< ptrnt Hon a Ic . 

Of these works, the last one only, the ^[emoir ui)on the manners, 
customs and religion of the savages of Xorlhern America,'' which 



must have been written some time between 1718. and 1721, has come 
down to us; though the ^^Plim'curs mevioires,'' cDc, is supposed to have 
been inserted, almost literally, by La Potherle, in the second volume 
of Iiis history. It was not composed for publicniion, but for tlie con- 
fidential information of the Jntendant of Canada, M. Begon, and re- 
mained in manuscript till 1864, when it appeared at Leipzig and Paris, 
beine: Part Three of the Bibliotheca Americana, edited bv tlie Rev. 
Father J. Taillian, of the Society of Jesus, on whose authority tlie 
preceding facts are stated. ** There is only one copy of Perrot's 
memoir in existence, of the last century ; the same, probably, tliat 
Father Ciiarlevoix used, and whicli he received from Begon, Li- 
tendant of Canada, in 1721. Our edition is a scrupulous reproduction 
of it." [T.] 

Scattered througii this book are accounts "of tlie Sioux and other 
tribes living in the region comprised within the limits of the present 
Minnesota, and between it and Lake Michigan ; and, in the samt? 
connection, a description of the country of the former nation, and oth- 
er geographical information of more or less direct reference. As an 
interesting addition to our knowledge of the historical gcojraphy of 
this region, all such notices have been carefully searched for, and are 
here given in a collected form for the use of the Historical Societv 
of Minnesola. The extracts are purely in Perrot's own words ; no 
changes having been made, even in the orthography. In addition, 
though trenching somewhat on the domain of history, the e[)i3ode of 
the disappearance of Father Menard is included ; — partly by reason 
of the new and interesting version of the matter, and partly as show- 
ing that he should be considered as one of the verv earliest European 
visitors to "Minnesota. Our first desiueratiuii being accurate ti jts, com- 
ments are best postponed ; yet the notes of Father Tailhan are «io 
well considered that this compilation would 1)0 incomplete without 
tho insertion of such of them as correspond to the extracts from the 
original woi-k. 'J'he translator has also ventured upon two or thrfc 
explanatory remarks, or interpolations, of his own, distinguishable 
by being inclosed within brackets; except the dates, which are the 
Fa tiler's. 

§ 2. E.drads from his " Mcmoirc sar ks moeurs, d-c.'" 

Car le pays du nord est la terre du monde la phis ingralte. puisque, dans 
(inantitez d'eiulroits vous nc trouveriez pas un oiscau a chasser; on y ra- 
masse cepcndant des bluets dans les mois d' aout et do septembrc*. ' * 



Les Chiripinons ou A^^sinibouiilas semcnt dans leurs marais quelques 
folles avoiiiLS qu'ils recueilknt, mais ils n'cn peiivcnt faire Ic transport 
chcz eux (lue dans lo temps di> la naviirati«>n (1). * 

Les Kiristinon> qui liantcnt souvcnt lo loni; dt's bords du Lao Supcrieiir 
el dcs grandes rivieres, ou sont plus connnunement les elans (2). * 

Les sauvages que Ton nonnne Saulteui s [Chippewais] sont au snd du lac 
Supcrieur * ils ont pour voy.>ins et amis les Scioux. :>ur 

les limitcs desquels ils chassent, quand ils veulent. * 

Si cn avance dans le nord, vers Tentrce d'Oui-eoncliing, I'liiver y est ex- 
tremement tVoid et long, (/'est la ou les castors sont les nieilleurs, et le 
pays ou la chassc dure ]ilus longtcmps dans Tannee. - 

ils tireut aussy I'liyver ile dessous la glace dans les marcsts ou il y a 
beaucoup de vase et pen d"cau, une cerlaine racine, "-^ mais elle 

ne se trouve que dans la LtMiisianne, a quinzx- lieues plus haut que Tentree 
d'Ouisconching. Les sauvages nomme en leur langue cette racine Poke- 
koretcli. -s " * 

3[ais les peu]-)les plus avanccz dans le nord,jusqu'a la hauteur d'Ouis- 
choncing, n'ont plus de ces netles, et ceux qui sont encore plus loin man- 
quent de ces noix semblables a cellcs de France. * - 

Car ce pays [des sauvages des \)rairics] n'est que plaines ; il 5' a seule- 
ment quelques islets ou ils ont coustume d'aller camper pour faire secher 
leurs viandes. ^ ^ % 

Quand touts les Outaonas se furcnt repandus vers les lacs [au ^lecliin 
gan (:J) ], les Saulteurs et les Missisakis s'ent'uircnt dans le nord, et puis a 
Kionconan (4) faute de cbasse ; et les Outaouas craignants de n'estre jkis 
assez forts pour ^oustenir les incursions des Iroquois, qui estoient informez 
dc I'eudroit ou ils avoient fait lour establissemeni 'se refugierent au ]Micis- 
sypy, qui se nomine a present la Louisianne. lis mouterent ce fleuve a 
douze lieu(.'S ou environ d'Ouisconching, ou ils trouverent une autre riviere 
qui se nomine des Ayoos (o). lis la suivirent jusqu 'a sa source et y recon- 
trcrcnt des nations (jui les receurent cordialement. ]\Iais, dans toutte 
I'etendue de pays qu'ils parcoururent, n'ayant jias veu de lieu jtropre a s'es- 
tablir, a cause cju'll ii'y avait dutout point de hois, et qu'il ne i)aroissoit 
que prairies et rases campagnes, quoyque les bullies et autres bestes y fus- 
ses en abondance, ils reprirent leur mesme route pour retourner sur leurs 
pas; et, apres avoir encore une fois aborde la Loui^^ianne, ils monterent 
plus haut. 

Ils n'y f ircnt pas longtemps sans s'ecarter i)our aller d'un coste et d'au- 
tre a la chasse : je ])arle d'une partie seulement de leurs gens, que les Scioux 
rencontierent, ])rirent et ammenerent a leurs villages, " - et 
puris les rendirent a leurs gens. 

Les Out:iouas et llurons les recurent fort bien a leur tour, sans neantmoins 
leur faire de grands proents. Les Scioux estant revenus chez eux avec 
quelques petites choses ciu'ils avoient reccues des Outaouas, en lircnt part 
aux autres villages leurs alliez. et donnerent aux uiis des haclies et aux 
autres queUiues cousteaux ou alaines. Touts ces villages cuvoyercnt des 
deputez chez les Outaouas (0). '-^ ^ * * 

Les Scioux faisoient njilles cares-es aux ITurons cl Outaouas ])art(nit ou 

ils estoient. ^ * * Les Outaouas se determinerent 

enfin a choi-ir I'isle nommecPelee pour s'establir ; ou ils furenl quehiuees 
annees en repos lis y receurent Sf)uveiit la visitte des Sci()ux. * 

Les llurons, ayant a>scz d'audace i)()ur s'imaginer (jue les Scioux estoient 
incapables de leur resi^^ter >ans amies de fer el a feu, con-iurerent avec les 

*Au ledeur. I).in5 ce? cxtraits. lo loxt que cloiinc le Tore T. a oto iniplicitenirnt suivi : mais 
quant aux aoceuts ijriinnnitidues. on ili'it iKinloiiiu'r leur absence, puis co qu 'il n'y a pas encore 
lie t\i)e Francais d ins les inipriiueries de St. Paul. ' li. 



Onfnoiias de Ics ('ntro^^rondro ot flc Icur fairo Ir inirrrc, nfin do ](,'.> rha.«:>cr 
de leiir pays, et de se pouvoir cstciidrt' d'avanta'j-c i)oiir ('•licrchf r lour siib- 
8islanco. 'Lcs ()iilaf>uas ct les lluroiis joiLrnirciit ciispinblf ct ma vchcroiU 
coiitre Ics bcioux. Jl> criiront (pic sitosi (jirils paroistroicnt, ils luiroifMit ; 
inais ils Aircnt bion Irompcz ; ear il.s snu.Ntiiirciit Iciirs cllorts, ct mcsme Ics 
rcponssci-ciit, ct s'ils nc s'cstoicnt rctircz ils auroiciit cstcz cnticrcmcnt 
dcH'ails par Ic i^rand noinbrc dc niondc, qui venoicnt drs autrcs villaires dc 
leurs allicz n Icur sccours. On Ics poursuivit jusqu'a^ Icur establissc'inciit, 
ou ils furcut contraiuts dc faire uu lucchant lort, qui no lai'^sa ])ar d'estre 
capal)!c de faire rctircr Ics Scioux, puisqu'ils n'oscrcnt cntreprcndre de 

JjCS incursions coutinucllcs que Ics Scioux faisoicnt sur cnx Ics con- 
Irai^nircnt dc fuir Ct). lis avoicnt cu connoissancc d'ur.c riviere qu'on 
nomine la Kivicrc >soirc ; ils entrcrcnt dedans ct, csfant arrivcz la ou cllc 
prcnd sa source, Ics Ilurons y trouvercnt un lieu proj^re pour s'y fortillicr 
et y cstablir Icur villa.ire. Lcs Outaouas pousscrent plus loin, ct marcli- 
erent jusqu'au lac Supericur, ct lixcrent Icur demeure a Cliagouamikon. 
Lcs Scioux, voyant Icurs cnnemis ])artis, domcurcrcnt en rcpos .^ans Ics 
suivre d'avantage ; mais lcs ITurons n'cn voulurcnt point demeurer la ; ils 
formcrcnt quckiuos partys contrc cnx, qui tircnt pcu d'eflcct, Icur attirercnt 
de la part dcs Scioux de frcqucntcs incursions, ct lcs obligerent dc quitter 
Icur fort pour allcr joindrc lcs Outaouas a Cliagouamikon, avcc une [;-raiKle 
j)crte dc leurs acns. Aussytost qu'ils furcnt arrivcz, ils songcrent a former 
un party de rent hommcs pour allcr coiilre lcs Scioux, ct s'cn vanirer. 

11 est" a rcmarcpier que Ic pays ou ils sont [lcs Sioux] n'cst autre chose 
que lacs ct marcsts rcmplis de folles avoincs, separcs lcs uns dcs autrcs par 
dc petites langucs de tcrrc qui ii'on.t tout au plus d'un lac a I'autrc que 
trente a quanfnte pas, ct d'autrcs cinq a six ou un pe pulus. Ccs lacs ou 
marcsts conticnnent cinquante licues ct d'avanta'j:c cu carrc, et ne sont 
separcs par aucunc riviere ([uc ])ar celie dc la Louisiannc, qui a son lit dans 
Ic milieu, ou une ]iartic dc leur.seaiix vicnnent se degorucr. D'autrcs tom- 
bentdans la riviere de Sainte Croix, qui est situcca k-urcgard au nord-cst, 
et qui lcs range de I'lrcs. Enlin lcs autrcs marcsts et lacssituez a Touest de 
la riviere de Saint Pierre s'y vont jetter pareillcment ; si bicn que lcs Scioux 
sont inacccssibles dans un pays si marecageaux, ct ne peuvent y estrc dc- 
truits que par dcs enncmis ayant des cannots comme eux ])our les ])our- 
suivre; parccque dans ces cndroits il n'y a que cinq ou six families cnscm- 
Ibe, qui forment cnmme un gros, ou nne espece de petit village, ct tons lcs 
autrcs sont dc mcsme eloign*^, a une ccrtainc distance, alln d'csirc a portee 
dc se pouvior prester la main a la premiere alarme. Si quckiu'une de ces 
petites bourgades est attaquce, Tcnncmy n'cn ])cut dellairc ([Uc tres pen, 
parccque tons lcs voysins se trouvcnt asscmblcz tout d"un coup, et donnent 
uii prompt sccours o*u il est bcsoin. La mctliode qu'ils out pour navig^uer 
dans ces sortes de lacs est de cou])cr dedans lour semcnccs, avec leurs Van- 
iiots, ct, lcs portant dc lac cn lac ils obligcnt I'cnnemy qui vcut fuir a tour- 
ricr autour ; qui vont tousjours d'un lac a un autre, jnsqu'a ce qu'ils lcs 
aycnt tons pas^ez, et qu'ils soient arrivcz a la grand tcrrc. 

Les cen.t liommes Ilurons s'enaagcrent dans Ic milieu dc ccs marcsts, sans 
eaniiuts, ou ils furcnt decouvcrts par quckpics Scioux, qui accouiurcnt 
pour donnerl 'alarme par tout. Cettc nation cstoit nombrcusc, disj^-rsec 
ilans toutte la circonferencc dcs marots. ou Ton rccueilloit quantife dc 
folios avoines, qui est Ic grain de cettc nation, dont le goust est meilleur 
que ccluy du riz. 

Plus dc trois mil Scioux se rcndircnt dc touts costcz. et invcstircnt les 
Ilurons, " de lout cc party, il n'en ccliapa qu'un (8). 

* * * * * 




Lcs Ilurons, se voyant fort pcu (Ic moiulu. prirent Ic party de ne pas 
songer a sc venirer ct de vivrc paisiblcmenl a Cha.LTouamikon pendant pliis- 
ieurs annces. Pendant tout ce trmps la, ils ne i'lircnt point insultez dcs 
Scioux, qui ne s'ap))liqucrcnt uniquemont qu'a faire la guerre aux Kiristi- 
nons, aux A'=;.sinihoulej ct a toutes les nations du nord, qu'ils out dulruits 
et desquels ils sont aussy fails d.;truirc respectivement • * 

Le Pcre Mc^nard qu'on avoit donne pour mis^ionnairc aux Outaouas 
[lOGO], accompag-ne de quelqucs Francois qui alloient coininercer cliez e(;tie 
nation, fust abandonne do touts ceux qu'il avoit avec luy, a la reserve d'un 
C[Ul luy rendit jr.>qu'a la mort touts les services et les sccours qu'il en ])()U- 
volt espercr. Ce Pere suivit les Outaouas au lac des Illinoets, et dans U ur 
fuitte dans la Louisianne jusqu'au-dessus de la Riviere Xoire. Ce fut la 
qu'il n'y eust qu'un seul Francois qui tint compagnie a ce missionnaire et 
que tons lcs autres le quitterent. Ce Francois dis je suivoit attentiveinenl 
la route et faisoit son portage dans les niesnios endroits ciue les Outaouas ; 
ne s'ecartant janmis de la mesmc riviere qu'eux. 11 se trouva, un jour 
[Aout 1001], dans un rapide qui I'entrainoit dan>; son cannot ; le Pere pour 
le soulagcr debavqua du sien, et ne ])rit pas le bon ehcniin pour vcnir a 
luy ; il s'engagea dans celuy qui estoit batlu des animaux, et voulant re- 
tomber dans le bon. il sVmbarra'^sa dans un lab\*rintlie d'arbes et s'egara. 
Ce Francoi"^ apres avoir surmonte oe rapide avec bien de la peine, attendit 
ce boR Pere, el conmie it ne vcnoit point, res(»lut de I'alier chcrclier. 11 
I'appella dans les bois de touttes ses forces, pendant plusieurs jours, espe- 
rantde le decouvrir, niais inutilenient. Cependant il fit rencontre en cii<' 
mind'un Sakis qui portoit la cliaudiere du missionnaire: qui luy a]->rist de 
ses nouvclles. 11 I'asseura qu'il avoit trouve sa piste bien avant dans ks 
terres, mais qu'il n'avoit jjas veu le Pere. II luy dii qu'il avoit aussy trouve 
la trace de plusieurs autres qui alloient vers les Scioux. II luy dcclara 
niesnie qu'il s'ininginoit que les Scioux Pauroient pu tuev on ([u'il en auroit 
este pris. En elfet, on trouva, plusiour> annecs apres, chez cette nation, 
son breviaire et sa soutanne, qu ils exposoient dans les festins en y vouanl 
leurs mets, * cliasser du costez des Scioux, 

car Chagouamikon n'en est eloigne, coupant par les terres en ligne direct, 
que de cinquante a soixante lieues, - * 

* on luy donna pour second ^l. de Lnde [du Lbut] qu'il envoya 
avcrtir [10S4] a Kamalastigouia, au fond du lac Superieur, ou estoii t^'on 
poste (0). -5^ * * 

Je fus envoye a cette bayc [des Puans, poste de Saint Francois Xavier], 
cbarge d'une commission pour y commander en chef et dans les pays plu-; 
eloignes du coste du ouest, et de ceux mesme que je pourrois dt couvrii' 
[IGSoj. * * - 

Je ne fus pa<; plustot arrive dans le^ endroits ou je devois commander, 
que je recus ordre de ^l. Denonville de revenir avec tons les Francois que 
j'avois * " Je me trouvais en ce temps la dans le 

pay.s des Scioux ou la gelec avoit brisc? tons iios cannots ; je fus eontraint 
d'y passer Tesle [IG^Gj. * * * 

Je fus pas terre chez les ]Miamis qui estoient a soixante lieues environ di' 
mon poste [dans le pays des Scioux], et mc'eu revins ])ar terre de mesme 
(pie j y estoit all-'. ' * * * 

Qut'lques jours apres je m'cn fus a travers les terres a la IJayc avec deux 
Francois. J 'en rencontroit a lout moment qui m'enseignoient le meilleur 
chemin et mc regaloicnt fort bieu (10). * * * 




for tlic coumry of the iioith is the most ii!ii;r:it(,'l'nl country in tin; world, 
since, in many places, you would not find a bird to hunt ; still, l)Iueberries 
are <i;ithered there in tlie month?; of August and Sci)tember. * * 

Tiio Chiripinons. or Assiniljoines, sow wild rice in Iheir marshes, which 
! Iiey afterwards gather, but they c;in only trans])ort it liome during the 
period of navigation (1 ). * * * * 

The Kiri^tinons, who often t>c(iucnt the shores of Lake Superior and 
of the great rivers, where the elk are most commonly to be tbund (•^). * 

The savages, called Sauteiirs, [Chli)]iewas] are on the south of Lake 
Superior. ***** 

They linve for neii:lil)ors and friends tlie Sioux, upon whose limits they 
hunt, Avhen they M i>h. •• - * * 

Advancing to the north, towards the entry of the "Wisconsin, the winter 
is cxtrcmclv cold and long. It is there that tlie beavers are tlie be>t, and 
the country where hunting lasts the longest during the year. * * 

They take, also, in winter, from under the ice, in marslies where there 
is nnich mud and little water, a certain root ; * but 

it is only found in Z''"'/.>-w;i?2(?, fifteen leagues [4I2 ^niles] above tlie entry 
ot the Wisconsin, The savages name this root, in their language, Poke- 
koretch. ^ * * * 

But the tribes the furthest advanced in the north, as far as the latitude 
of the Wisconsin, do not have these medlars, and those who are yet further, 
want also the nuts similar to tiie ones of France. ^ ^ ^ 

For this country [of the savages of the prairies] is entirely plains ; there 
are only some islands [oases] where it is their custom to camp to dry their 
meat. * * * 

AVhen the Ottowas had scattered towards the lakes [to ]\Icchingan (:3.) ], 
the Sauteurs and the ^lissisakis lied to the north, and then to Kioiuionurt 
(4), for Avant of hunting; and the Ottowas, fearing they were not strong 
enough to resist the incursions of the Iroquois, who Avcre informed of the 
place where they liad made their establishment, took refu:.,"e on tlic 3Iissis- 
sippi, called at ])r(-etit tlic Loxisin nnc. The}" ascended this river to twelve 
leagues, or about [;'.:; miles] lYom the ^Visconsin, Avliere they found another 
river that is called [river] of the loways (.1). They followed it to its source, 
and there met nations who received them cordially. But, in all the extent 
of country wliich tlie\' overran, having seen no place proper to establish 
themselves, by reason that there wa« no wood tliere at all, and that ])rai- 
ries and level plains were all that appeared, although bulla Iocs and other 
animals were there in al)Uiidance, they returned upon their steps b}' the 
same routes; and. after having once more reached the Louhianiie^ they as- 
cended higher. 

They Avere not there long without scattering, goin^ frcni one side to an- 



other for huntiui: : I speak of a porli')ii, only, of their people, Avhom the 
Sioux met and kd to tlicir vilhiges, * * and then returned them 
to the rest. 

The Ottowas and Ilurons received llieni very well in their turn, uithout, 
however, making them any great presents. The Sioux having arrived at 
home with some little matters that they had received from the Ottowas, 
divided portions of them with the other villages, their allies, and gave to 
the ones, liatehets, and to others, knives or awls. All these villages sent 
deputies to the Ottowas (G). -j;- * * 

The Sioux received the Ottowas and Hurons in the best manner, wher, 
ever they went. * * * Tlie Ottowas at last resolved to 

choose the island called Bald, [FJcc] to settle on ; where they were several 
years in repose. They often received there the visit of the Sioux. - - 

The Hurons, having so much audacity that they imagined the Sioux 
were incapable of resisting them without fire-arms and weapons of iron, 
conspired with the Ottowas to make war upon tljcm, in order to drive them 
from their country, so as to be able to spread themselves more, to procure 
means of subsi:?tence. Tlie Ottowjis and the Hurons joined together and 
marched against the Sioux. The y believed that as soon as they would ap- 
pear, the others vrould lly ; but they were much deceived, for their attacks 
■were sustained, and tliey were even repulsed ; and if they had not retreat- 
ed, would have been entirely defeated b}' the great number of people who 
came from the other allied villages to the assistance of the Sioux. They 
were pursued to their settlement, where they Avere obliged to make a hasty 
fort, which, however, was suOicient to cause the Sioux to retire ; — not dar- 
ing to storm it. 

The continual inroads that the Sioux made upon them constrained them 
to fly (7). They had known of a river called the Black Biver. This they 
entered ; and, having arrived where it takes its source, the Hurons found 
there a place fit to fortify themselves in, and to establish their village. The 
Ottowas, however, pushed beyond, and reached Lake Superior, where they 
fixed their home at Chagouamikon. The Sioux, seeing their enemies fled, 
remained in peace, without following them any more. But the Hurons 
Avere not content to stop there ; they sent some parties against them, whicli, 
however, making little impression, drew frequent incursions on the part 
of the Sioux, and caused them to quit their fort to join the Ottowas at Cha- 
(/ouamikon, with a great loss of their people. So soon as they arrived there, 
they thought of forming a war i)arty of one hundred men to go against 
the Sioux, and to revenge themseves for their former defeats. 

It is to be remarked that the country where they are [the Sioux] is noth- 
ing but lakes and marshes, filled witli M-ild rice, separated, the ones from 
tlie others, by little tongues of land, which, at the most, from one lake to 
the other, are but thirty to forty steps, and, in many cases, only five to six 
or a little more. lakes, or marshes, contain fifty or more leagues 
square, [19 or L\),000 square miles] and are divided by no river but the 



Louisiarine, which has its betl in the middle, aiul into -svliicli a part of their 
waters is emptied. Others full into the river of Sainte Croix, wliicli is 
Fitnated, in respect to them, to tlie north-east, and Hows near tiiem. Finally, 
the otlicr marshes and lakes, situated to the west of the river of Saint Peter, 
throAV themselves similarly into it. Thus, the Sioux are inaceessihle in 
that marshy country, and cannot he destroyed there, hut hy enemies hav 
in^r canoes, like themselves, to follow th.em ; for, in these jdaces, there are 
only five or six families together, Avhich form a hamlet, or a kind of small 
villai!;e ; and all the otheis are in the same way, at a certain distance, in 
order to be ready to help ea(-h other at the first ahirm. If any one of these 
little villages is attacked, the enemy can hurt it but slightly; for all thf> 
neighbors assemble at once, and give j)romi>t assistance Avhere it is needed. 
The May they have of navigating these lakes is to strike into tlieir [ri( c] 
fields \vitli their canoes, and, carrying them from lake to lake, they force 
the flying enemy to turn round. Thus, they can go from one to another, 
till they have passed tliem all, and have arrived at the main land. 

The hundred llurons became entangled in the middle of these marshes, 
wiilioul canoes, -svhere they were discovered by some Sioux, w l o hastened 
to give a general alarm. This nation [the Sioux] was numerous, scattered 
through all the extent of the marshes where they were gathering wild rice 
which is the grain of this peoi)le, and tastes better than rice. 

More than three thousand Sioux ai)proached, from all sides, and invested 
(he llurons, * of all this party but one escaped (8). 

* * * * * 

The Hurons, seeing tluit they were so weak in numbers, concluded not 
to seek for revenge any more, but lived peaceably at Chagonamikon for 
many years. During all this time, they Avere not molested by the Sioux, 
who only applied themselves to making war on the Kiristinons, the Assin- 
iboines, and all the other nations of the north, w hom they have much in- 
jured, and by whom they have, on their j)ait, been decimated. * 

Father !Menard, who had been appointed missionary to the Ottowas, [in 
1000, and who went to them], accomjianied by some Frenchmen that were 
going to traffic with that nation, was abandoned hy all who were with 
him, except one, who rendered to him, to the last, all the services and as- 
sistance that he stood in need of. The Father followed the Ottawas to the 
lake of the Illinois, and in their \\\\x,hi\o Loui-^iannc, as far as to above the 
Black Kiver. There it was that this missionary had hut one Frenchman 
for companion, and where all the rest had left hiin. This Frenchman, I 
say, followed carefully the route of the Ottawas, and made his portages in 
the same places that they had :— never leaving the same river that they 
were on. lie found himsidf, one day [August, IGGl], in a rapid that was 
carrying him away in hi> canoe. The Fatlu-r, to relieve him, disembarked 
tVoiu his own, but did not take the proper road to come to hitrt ; he en- 
tered one that had l>een inade by animals; and desiring to return to the 
right one, became embarrassed in a labyrinth ol trees and was lost. The 



Frenchinun, after lirivinir asciMided the rapid, with a great deal of trouble, 
waited for the ;:;o')(l Fatlicr, and as ]ie did not come, concluded to search 
for hini. lie called his name in the woods with all his streiii^th, for sev- 
eral dajs, but in vain. However, he met, in the Avay, a Sank Avho Avas llie camp kittle of the missionary; and who told iiim news of 
him. He informed him that he had found his track a loni; way on, in the 
■vvoods, but tluit he had not seen the Father himself lie toUl him, too, 
that he had found the traces of several others going towards tlie Sioux, 
He even said thni he thought tlie Sioux might have killed him, or taken 
him prisoner. Indeed, several yean^ afterwards, there were found amongst 
this nation hi< breviary and cassock, which tliey ex])Oseil at their ceremo- 
nies, making olferings to them of their food. * 

* * to hunt in the direction of the Sioux ; for Cliarjou- 
amikon is onl\' fifty to sixty leagues [l:>8 to IGG miles] di.^tant from them, 
going across the country in a direct line. ^' 

* * They gave him, for second. ^I. du Lhut, Avhom he 
sent word to [KiSlj at Jun//<>J<istfr/noia, at the further side of Lake Sujie- 
rior, Avliere wa« his post (0). * * * 

I -was sent to this bay [Green JJay, post of St .Friincois Xavier], charged 
Avith tlie c(mimi<sion to have chief command there, and in the most distant 
countries on the side of the m'csI, and even in any that t might discover 
[IGSo]. * -'^ * * 

I had no sooner arrived in the places wh(}re I was to command, than 1 
received orders from 31. Denonville to return, with all the Frenchmen tliat 
were with me. 

* * At thai time, I w as in the country of the Sioux, 

where the freezing [of the streams] had 1)roken all our canoes; I was com- 
pelled to stay there during the summer [IG^jG]. * * 

I went by land to the Miamis, who were about sixty leagues ]1G.~)32 niiles] 
from my post [in the country of the Sioux], and returned from them the 
same way that I had gone. * * 

Some days after, I went across the country to the Bay [Green] witli two 
Frenchmen. 1 met, continually, with those who sliowed me the best road, 
and treated me very well (10). 

g 3. Extract.>^ froni th(^ notes to tlm " .Memoire sur les moeurs cf-c." 

(1.) " A.ssinipounlak^. or 7/7f/'r/<);''J of the rock, wciw .Vs,siniboines. a Sion.^ tribe, wliich. to- 
wards tlie <'oinineiici.'inent I'f ilii.> >cvviit.>i>iiih coiuury, having qiiarrclle-.l uitli tne rest of t!ic 
nation, was obligvHl to secodc", and tot.k rol'uge aiiiuii^'st the rocks (assin) of tlie Lake of the 

(2.) "Thf! Kilistitioiis lived upon tin? banks of L ike Alitubogong, between Lake Superior and 
Hudson's I'.ay. ' 

(3.) .V'.7/,i/?f7(7W— oa«iorn Wi-cnn^in otkI north-wt-storn Michigan. " 

'.4-) A7rt/Hv./u/« — Ki>v\ cnaw of lin; AuifriiMn maps." [Tronounccd t>y the modern Chippewa.'* 
it is like Ke-xc(t-]/o-na/tn-in'j.—V.. 1". i;iy.] 

(5.) "'I'lic lo.vas, in r'.ilil)nrs and allies of the Siou.\, dwelt between the 44th and 45ih dogrcos 
of north latitiuU'. l\v< ive d.iy.i' jonrm y tx yond the Mis<is.>i)iiii : that they % rry likely belonged to 
the latter naiion, is >\\u\\ n by the name of ytidouoifiioiuc Mti sk initens, oT y<idoucS8iovx of the 
prairies, that the Altron'iuin^ had irivon tiif in ; for ^fa■skout6, i.Mii>h-ku-day, j the lOOt of J/a#« 
kouteiia, signilieb land debtitutti of trees, or prairie." 



(6.) "We know indeed that two Frenchmen visited, in 1Gj9. the forty Sioux villat^es without 
crossing, or even seeins;, the Mississippi, of wlilch they have only spoken from hearsay, and 
from tlic descriptions that the Hurons of Black River crave them of it. The viiiatres helonjred, 
then, all to the ea>torn i)uriion of the Sioux territory, Mtuatcd on this side of the river; that is 
to say, in the half <>r the country reall}' occupied by this natiuii. It may, howevt-r. be that in the 
InfHUl Mississippi, disj^uisod, too, under a .Sioux name, our two travtlera did not recognize the 
large and powt.rSul river that the Hurons told them of under its Algoufiuin title., 
they must have been. thou2;l\ without their knowledsre, the fir-t to see again in the scventeelh 
century, the Mis.^issippi. discovered in the sixteenth by Ferdinand de Soto." * * * 

■'One of these travelers was caliei iJes Groseillers. and lived many months with the Sioux. Tl\\s 
we gather from the following passage of the M S. journal of the Jesuiis of Quebec. (Aug , IfJGU) 

* * * * '* The Ottowas arrived on the IDth * * There were three hundred 
of them. Des Groseillers was in their company : he had gone to them the year before. * * 
Des Groseillers has wintered with the nation of the Ox [nation du boeu/\,' which, he makes to be 
4,000 men. They are the sedentary Xadouesserons' {Sioux of the East '•') 

(7.) From the coinmencemoni of 1060, the Ottowas inhabited Chegoiinegon Point TShah- 
gah-wah-mik-onsf — Ely], as well as the islands adjacent to it o>i the southern shore of Lak« 
Superior. The Hurons, at that time, were in hiding n*^ar the sources of the Black l{iver. at six 
days distance (40 or oO leagues, from the same lake, and at seven or eight from Green P.av. 
Tlie two peoples were visited, in lOJ, by two French traders, who, penetrating beyond, made 
alliance with the Sioux. It is then between the years 1057 [at which time the liuruns and Otto- 
was were living in Mechingan.] itnd IbGO. that the events de-'cribed by I'crrot mu<t have taken 
place; that is. from the lli2:ht of these tribes to the Missi^^bippi. up to their first troubles with the 
Sioux, which wore foUowcil by a new migration — tliat was not their last one." * * * 
" In reckoning at forty or fifty leagues the six days journey that separated the residence of the 
Hurons from Lake 'uperiur, 'l have only applied the rule given in the I^clat ion ot lGo8 by 
Father Dreuillettes ; " You will see also.' he writes, ' the new roads to go to the sea of the north, 

* * * with the distance of the places, according to the days travel that the savages 
have made, which I put at fifteen leagues a day in descending, on account of the rapiditv of the 
waters, and at seven or eight leagues in ascending.' " [The common league of France'is equal 
to 2.76 miles.] 

(8.) This disastrous expedition fullowimr the arrival of the Hurons at Cheo'oimegon, it could 
not, consequenth', have taken place before lG'-'>"2. On the other hand, it preceded, b}- many 
years perhaps, the visit that the Chief of the Sinaganx Ottowas paid the Sioux in ICO.j or 16C6; 
it is then very likelj- that the defeat of the Hurons l>y the Sioux occurred in one of the two years, 
lb62 or 160."^" * * * " Two reasons have impolicd me to place in ltjG5-ir>GG. the ar- 
rival of the Sioux prisoners at Clicgoimecron, followed by their return to their countrv with the 
chief of the Sinacraux and the four Krenchmen of whom I'orrot speaks The first is that, in this 
year, the Sioux very certainly visited the Point of the Holy Spirit; the secoml, that, ac'cordin"- 
to the account of these events, as it is given by our author, lour or five years at least, liad j)assed 
away between this visit and the abandoning of Chegoimegon, in 1070-71, by the Hurons and the 

(9.) JTalamalasfigovia—nn application of DuT.hut, made in 1693, in which he solicits the 
concession of this post, gives the name as Kumanafitigouian.''' 

(10.) '■ Perrot. who was recalled in 10S5. from the country of the Sioux, received, four vears 
later, exjtress orders to take possession of it in the name of the king, as seen in the following 
document ; * * * * 

jS'icoIas Perrot. commnfidanf pour le roi au poste desyado2iesiovx * * * 
declaro?iS a tons qu'il appariiendra etre rexitii a la b(i>fo des Fuants etan la<'. des Outa- 
gamis. rivieres des diis Out'i'jam is et Masko>ttins, riri^rede V Oui-skonche et celle de J/is- 
ifisnippi. iinits etre transpnrtes au pays des Xndouesiouv, sur le bord- de la riviere de 
6<tinte Croix, a Vevtree de la riviere de Saint Fivrre, sur laqueUe etaient les Mantantous, 
ety plus haut dans les terrcs. au nord-est du, Mississippi, jusqit, auJi Mencho/catouc?ie'<, 
chez lesquels Tinbiteat la plus grande partie des SomjeskitouJi et autres Xadoucsioux qui 
»ont au nord-est du JHssissippi, poiir'et an nonidii J^oy, prendre possession (jUs terres 
et rivieres ou les dites 7iati'->>t.< /labitent, et desquelles elles sont j>roprietuires * * 
fait ati poite S.iint-Antoine U dit jour et an. que des'^us" ^ IVm See Xeills' 

History of Minnesota, pages 143 to 145, for translation of this ''deed'' in full. 

By G. H. Pond, of Bloomington- 

P.r.ooMixrjTON, December 14. 1?C<5. 

Rev. Joirx Mattock?— Z'^-ar Sir :—l have dcf'-'rre'l complying wifh your request to prepare a 
paper for the LI:>:orical Saciety till now, only l^ecausc I have never luund the leisure nece>-;iry 
to da it Evtn no.v 1 hive been obli<re!l to let every thing else po except what was ab^ulutply 
necessary to be 'Jone in order to attend to it. The pre.-s of *,o-day contains a notice of yo -.r 
meeting last .Mo'.i Jay. I sui)po-e, tht-refore, that I am too late, but will forward to you whai 1 
Lave prepared if it is not acceptable please rtjturn it to me. 

The ■■ ^upers:!tion^■■ to which ilie paper rulate>, it may seem to soma, are too absurd to be the 
relig.on of min. however de:<ra'iod. but they have been obtained from the Indians iheinsel vcs. 
and £ have never discovered that they had auythinq; better, but have discovered much that is 
worse. 1 pres'Kae that no one will be disposed to say that it is my own invention, for that would 
be giving me credit for more imaginative and cro uive genius than I ever claimed. Such as it is 
1 send icTind shall be satistied if the S'-ciety accepts it or return-; it to me 

The sack I send you will tnd e.vplained under the head " Medic inc-man a Doctor." It is 
not the medicine sack of the medicine dancer. 

In haste, yours, Ac, 

G. H. POND, 

The Dakota Indians are the tribes -u'Lo are generally known bv 
tlie name of Sioux, a name given them by early I'rench explorers. 

Of the Dakota there are severnl — seven — grand divisions who are. 
by their orators, sometimes spoken of as " sevex fir'^:3." 

These again were divided into a great number of smaller tribes or 
clans, each having its little chief, who was simplv the most influen- 
tial individual in the clan, which was composed cliieflv of blood re- 

The chief, for generations, seems to have had but little authority 
except that wliich he derived from the support of some medicine- 
man, who attach' d himself to him, or from the fact that governmeni 
ofiicers and traders transacted business with the clans through them. 

The name Dakotah signifies much the same as confederacv. The 
word is often used as the opposite of enemy. 

These divisio?is and subdivisions of Indians are all embrnced under 
the compreh. n^ive name Dakota, the name by wliioh thevcall them- 
selves. The A.^sinnaboinos are snid to have be' : _ .] originally to 
the Dakota famil-. 

A few years ai:o, tViese Dakuta trib(>s occupied the c.Mintry alon-j 
the Mississippi rivc-r, from about Prairie du Chien, to tar above \.\\'- 
Falls of St. Anthony, the whoK; of the Minnesota valley, and the 
immense plains extending westward to, and beyond the Missouri 


The laiigunge of nil these tribes is the same, ^vith uriijiiportant 
dialectic dinereiice?, and seems to be entirely distinct from tliat of 
trilK'S around, except, perhaps, that of the "Winnel^acro tribe. 

Being one in language thev are alike in their civil polity, if in- 
deed it can be said tliat they have any, alike in their religious belief 
and p.r.'ictice, and alike in all their uianners, allowing for the modi- 
fjcations which have been produced by diversity of circumstances. 

It is to the superstitions of these Dakotas that the following paper 

In the first place it seems to be necessary to define the very sig- 
nificant Dakota word ^uakan, for, in it is contained the quintessence 
of their religion. It is an epitome of the whole, containing its pith 
and marrow. 

The word tvalcan, signifies anything which is incomprehensible. 
The more incomprehensible the more wakan. The word is applied 
to anything, and everything, that is strange or mysterious. The 
general name for the gods in their dialect is this, Talu- ^Vakan, i. e.^ 
that which is wakan. 

Whatever, therefore, is above the comprehension of a Dakota, is 
God. Consequently, he sees gods everywhere. Not Jehovah every 
where, but Taku-Walan. 

This is the starting ])oint in their sui)erstitions, but it is not with 
eaie that one can arrive at the other end of the subject. It runs 
out like the division oi matter, to dix iiiily. To use an expression 
of one of their own most intelligent men, '* there is nothing that 
thev do not revere as God." IFaAvoi is the one idea of divine es- 
sence. The chief, if not the only did'erence that they recognize to 
exist, among all the tens of thousands of their divinities, is the un- 
esst'iitial one of a difference in the degree of their walvan q'lalities, 
or in the purposes for wliich they are wakan. 

We speak of the mcdiciiic-mau, mc.h'cuie-feixst, medk<)te dimco, and 
the greut-.s/)iViY of the Indian, while he speaks of icuka n-niiu\, the 
<rc(Av.///-feast, the vak'ni-d-dnce, and the greal-?/7'/."(Y;/ . 

l^vidence is wanting to show that these people divide their Taku- 
M'akan into classes of good or e\-i]. They are all simply wakan. 
'J'he Dakotas have another word to represent s['irit, or soul, or Jeho- 
vah, but ihc w<)!<l wakan is never used in that s<-nse, though a 
spirit might be wakan. 

Kvidence is also wanlintr to sIkjw that the Dakotas emliraced 
• 5 ^ • 




in their religious tenets, tlie idea of one Supreme Existence, whose 
existence is expressed by the term Gkp:at Spirit. If some of the 
dans, at the present time, entertain this idea, it seems hiiihly prob- 
able that it has been imparted to them by ijidividuals of Kuro])ean 
extraction. No reference to such a being is to be iound in their 
feasts, or fasts, or sacrifices. Or if there is any such reference at 
tlie present time, it is clear tliat is of recent origin and does not be- 
long to their system. Individuals of them may tell us tliat the 
worship of the great medicine-dance is paW to the Great Spirit, but 
it is absolutely certain that iL is not, as will be seen as we proceed. 

Mr. Carver tells us of a religious ceremony of a very singular na- 
ture — very wakan — in wliicli a person is carefully bound hand and foot 
and mysteriously released by the gods — the performance of wliich he 
witnessed, and which he said had reference to the Great Spirit. 
Doubtless it had such reference in his opinion, but it w^ill be shown 
in another place, that in fact, it had not. 

It is indeed true, that Dakotas do sometimes appeal to the Great 
Spirit when in counsel with white men, but it is because they sup- 
pose him to be the object of the white man's worship, or because they 
themselves have embraced the Christian doctrines. Still it is gener- 
ally the Interpreter who makes the appeal to tlie Great Spirit, when 
the spoarker really appealed to the 7 a^'u-wakan, and not to the 
w^akan- TcuJcu. 

Besides, the great struggle Avhich at the present time exists be- 
tween the heathen and the Christian Dakotas, is freely expressed 
to be a strife, between the old system of worship rendered to the 
Taka Walcan^ and the new, which is rendered to the Wanku Tanlcu. 
The Christians are universally distinguished from the })agans, as be- 
ing worshipi^ers of "Wakan Tanku, or as we speak, the Great Spirit. 

One word more by way of introduction. It is true of all the Da- 
kota gods, or Avakans, that they are male and female, are subject to 
the same laws of propagation under which men and animals exist, 
and are mortal. They are not thought of as being eternal, except 
it may be by succession. 





It sf^ems to bo proper to allow tliis wakari object to take the pre- 
cedence in onr nrranc^oment. as he does really in respectability. The 
literal sicrnificaticn of the name is probably lost, though it may, per- 
haps, siirnify extraordinary vital energies. 

In their external form, the Onktehi are said to resemble the ox, 
only that they are of immense proportions. This god has power to 
extend liis horns and tail so a> to reacli the skies. These are the 
organs of his power. The dwelling place of the male is in the wa- 
ter, and the spirit of the female animates the earth, Ilenco, when 
the Dakota seems to be praying, chanting or offering sacrifices to the 
water or to the earth, it is to this fjimily of the gods that the wor- 
ship is rendered. They address the male as grandfather, and the fe- 
male as grandmother. Hence, also, it is probably, tliat the bub- 
ling springs of water are called the " breatliing places of the wakan." 

Though not the same in form, and though destitute of the trident, 
tlie horse, and the dol])liin, vet, because he rules in the watery worlds 
as Neptune did in tlie ^Ffditerranean sea, it may not be out of 
llace to denominate him tli<' Xeptune of the Dakotas. 

This god has power to issue from his body a wakan influence 
which is irresistible even by the superior gods. This missive influ- 
ence is termed tonwon, whicli word will frequently recur as we pro- 
ceed. This power is common to all the Taku-"^Yakan. This tonwan 
influence, it is claimi.'d. is infused into each medicine-sack which is 
used in the medicine dance. 

One of these gods, it is believed, dwells under the Falls of St. 
Anthony, in a den of awful dimensions, and which is constructed of 

A littlfi to the left of the road leading from Fort Snelling to Min- 
nehaha, in sight of th<^ fort, is a hill which is used, at ]>resent, as a 
burial place. Tliis hill is known to the Dakotas as Taku wakan 
tipi," the dwelling place of the g(»<l>. It is believed that one of this 
family of divinities dwells there. 

Not many years si^\ce. at the brenking up of the ice in the ^Fissis- 
sippi river, it gorged and so obstructed the channel between the fiills 
nnd Fort Snelling. that the water in a few hours rose very high. 
AVhen the channel was opened by pressure, of course, the rush of 



water carried all bt-for.- it." A cal>in wliieli stood on the low bauk 
under the falls, was carri< tl away with a soldier in it, who was never 
heard of afterwartls. It is universally believed l)y the worshippers 
of the fiod ill ([iiostion, that the occurrence was causea \)y f)iie of 
these gods passing down the river, wlio took the soldier. for his l-vcii- 
ing meal, as they often feast on human spirits — viro uatji. 

On the niorniiig of Julv 4, 1851, at Traverse des Sioux, liobert 
Hopkins, a missionary of the American board to the Dakota? was 
drowned in the Minnesota river. It was the general belief and talk 
among the Dakotas, who were acquainted with the facts, that this 
god destroyed his life and ate his soul — nagi — because he had spoken 
against his worship in tlie medicine-dance. 

It is related that as some Indians wt.-re onc(! passing through Lake 
Pepin, tliey suddenly found tliemselves aground in tlie middle of the 
lake. Their god had risen to the surface, and they were lifted from 
the water on his back ! Instantly they were enveloped in clouds, 
and a terrific tempest arose Avhich chilh-d them Avith fear. Eagerly 
they oflered their prayers and sacritices to their venerable grand, 
father, when the wakan monster began " slowly to beat his drum 
the sound of which was the present thunder, while his eyes glistened 
like two moons. Soon the blows fell quicker and lighter, and thn 
god chanted as follows.* 

Wakan de homni wave. 
Wakan de homni waye. 
Tipi de wankahe waye. 
Wakan de homni waye. 
Tipi de wankahe wa3e. 
Wakan do homni waye." 

I whirled this wakan. 
I whirled this wakan. 
I demolished this tent. 
I whirled this wakan. 
I demolished this tent. 
I whirled this wakan. 

As the chant censed, a calm succeeded, and one Indian with his 
wife, found himself safe and tranquil on the shore, but his compan- 
ions had all peri-hed. From that time he was a friend of this divinity, 
and was honored with the name of Oxktkhi-dl'TA." 

Another chant of this god, may, with propriety, have a place here, 
because it is often used in the medlciue-danre, and indicates the char- 
acter of the god in the estimation of his worshippers: 



*' M<le h'lakinynn wakanyan mutika. 
Mile hdakinyan wakanyan munk;i. 
Ue taku nagi knayan, niyake wata rmnwe." 


I hie mysteriously across the lake. 
I Lie mysteriously across the lake. 
I; is that decoyini? somo soul, I may eat liiiu alive. 

Til? mc<liciii'-^-U' aud the rnctjiciiie-daiK-e, have been received 
from this goi, and tii-^ chants al»o\ -' ure much used in hoth. 

Tlie tacririce? which are rt'i^iiircil hy them, are th»^ soft down of 
tlie swan roui'v-i with vermilion, deer skins, tol)acC(i. doo-s, medicine- 
feasts and medioine-dane^'s. 

Their sul-ordinatvs the ser[ient, li/ard. fr(»u\ Lrhosts, owl and 
eagle. These all cl-cy tlicir will. The Onktelii made the earth and 
men, and gave tiie Dakutas the medicine-sack, and also prescribed 
the manner in which some of those pigments must be apjdied, which 
are daubed ovt-r t];^ iiodies of Ids votaries in the medicine-dance, and 
on the warrior wlieii lie goes into action. Thev are believed to 
possess II wakan and an amuh?tic jiower. 

Among all tlie myriads of the Dakota gods, there ar<^ none more 
respectable, or more re-pected, than the one abi)ve mentioned. 

mkdicinp: daxce. 

The wakan dance is represented as having b(?en received from the 
family of gr.ds above considered. 

The onktehi, immediately after the production of the earth an<l 
men, to promote his own worship among them, gav(^ to the Indians 
the medicine sack, and^ instituted the medicine dance. He ordainetl 
that the sack should consist of the skin of the otti^r, the raccoon, 
the weazel. tlie s<]uirrpl. the loon, one variety of fish, and of ser- 
pents. It wa- a]s<i ordained that the sack should contain four spe- 
cies of me*iicine-. of wakan qualities, which should represent fowls, 
medicinal herhs. medicinal trees, and quadrupeds. The down of the 
female swan represents the first and may be seen at the time of 
the dance, inserted in the nose of the sack. Grass roots represent 
the secc'ud, bark from the root of irv.o?, the third, and hair from the 
back or head of a bulTalo, the fourth. These are carefully preserved 
in the sack. 

From this combination proceeds a wakan influence so powerful, 
that no human being, unassisted, can resist it. 



At the iii.-til utiou of the dance, the god prepared a tent, four 
square, opening towards tlie east, with an extended court in front, 
and selecting four men for initiatioji. ])roceeded to instruct and pre- 
pare them for the recejitioii of the mysteries. Tlie rules of conduct 
wliich he gave them. Avrre tliat " tliey should honor and revere the 
medicine sack, honor nil who sliould belong to the dance, make fre- 
quent medicine feasts, refrain from theft, not listen to hinls, (slander) 
and female members shoiiM not have a plurality of husbands." The 
sum of tlie good promis.'d lo the faithful, was honor from the mem- 
bers of tlie institution, fre'iuent invitations to tlie feast, abundance 
of fowl, with supernatural assistance to consume it, and long life 
here, with a reddish and spoon in thr life to come." 

The evils tlireatened against the unfaithful were as follows : If 
unfaithful vou cannot escape diitection and juuiishment. If vou 
enter tlie forest to hiilo yourself tli'~' black owl is there, if vc)U d--- 
scend into the t-arth serpents are there, if you flee into the air the 
eagle will pursue you. and if you go into the water there lam." 

Tiie candidates thus instructed and chr-a-ged were placed in the 
center of the tent to receive the tonwan of the sack, discharged at 
them by the god himself. It is said that they perished und(u- the 

After consulting with his goddess, the god holding up his left 
hand, and pattering on the back of it with the other, produced my- 
riads of littlf^ shells, whose virtue is to restore lite to those who liave 
been slain by the tomvan of the sack. (Fjach of the members of the 
medicine dance is thoucrlit to have one of these shells in his 
body.) After taking this jtrecaiition, the god selected four otlier 
candidates and repeated the experiment of initiation with success, 
following the discharge from the sack immediatelv with the shell 
cast into the vital j^arts, at the same time chanting the following 
words : 

" Xnjin wo, Najin wo, 
Mitotiwan katapi do. 
Xajin wo, najin wo. 

C^or««.— Ilaya haya, 
Haya haya." 

Rise on your feet, rise oa your feot. 

My tonwan is for sport. 
Rise on your foot, rise on your feet. 


Such, it is bc'lievt'J, was the oriirln of tlie rneJiciiie dance. 

There are no oflicers, or superiority of rank, cxce[>t tliat of age 
and experience, known in this pagan institution. The dance is cele- 
brated ; ]st, on account of tjie doatli of one of its members whose 
sack is given to a near rehitive of the deceased ; 2nd, when a new 
i^ack is to be conferred on one who drsires to become a member and 
who has proved himself wortliy of the honor by making medicine 
feasts, and rendering due liwnor to the members, and 3rd, in the per- 
formance of a vow. 

It is required of a candidate for admission, tliat he go through the 
ceremony of the vapor bath " once each day, four days in succes- 
sion. In the meantime some of the aged members instruct him in 
the mysteries of the institution, in imitation of the course of its au- 
thor as already related. Besidt'S, he is provided with a dish and 
spoon both of wood. On the side of the dish is often carved the 
liead cf some voracious animal, in which resides tlie spirit of the 
Iya — the god of gluttony. The dish will contain eight to ten quarts, 
or more, and is always carried by its owner to the medicine feast, and 
lie is bound to eat all that is put in it, or pay a fine to the maker of 
the feast. A woman came to the writer on one occasion to ask foj. 
calico to make a short gown. S])e said she hud lately had seven 
new ones, but had lost them all at medicine feasts, where she was 
unable to empty her dish. Grey Iron, of the Black Dog band, used 
to possess a dish on which was carved a bear entire, indicatinor that 
lie could eat as much as a bear. Tlie candidate is also instructed in 
the matter of painting his body for the dance. This paint is nearly 
all the covering that he wears on the occasion. ]Ie must always 
paint in the same manner for the ceremony of the dance. There is 
said to be wakan virtue in this paint, and the manner of its applica- 
tion, and those who have not been furnished with a better, bv a Avar 
prophet, wear it into battle. 

The candidate being thus prepared, and having made the requisite 
offerings for the benefit of the institution, on the evening of the dav 
which precedes the dance, is taken in charge by ten or more of the 
more substantial brothers, who pass the night in devotional exerci- 
ses, such as chanting, dancing, exhorting, eating, and smokiuL'. ]Oar- 
ly in the morning the tent, inform like that which the god first 
erected for the p-^-r^ses, is throwji open for the dance. The mem- 



bers assemble painted and ornamented, eacli bringing his medicine- 

After a few preliminary ceremonies, appropriate to the occasion, 
including a row of kettles of large dimensions, well filled a!id arrang- 
ed over a fire at the entrance of the court, guarded by sentries ap- 
pointed for the occasion, the candidate takfs his place on a pile of 
blankets which he and his friends have contributed. lie is naked, 
except the breech cloth and moccasins, and well smeared wiih pig 
ments of various hues, l^ehind him stands an aged and reliable 
member. Now, the master of the ceremonies, with the joints of his 
knees and hips considerably bent, advances with an unsteady, un- 
couth hitcliing, sack in hand, wearing an aspect of desperate energy, 
and uttering his '-Ilecn, been, been," with frightful emphasis, while 
all around are enthusiastic demonstrations of all kinds of wild pas- 
sions. At this point the sack is raised near a painted spot on the 
breast of the candidate, at which the tonwan is discharged. At the 
instant the brother from behind gives him a push and he falls dead, 
and is covered with blankets. 

Now the frenzied dancers gather around, and in the midst of be 
wildering and indescribable noises, chant the words uttered bv tlie 
god at the institution of the ceremony, as already recorded. Tlien 
the master throws off the covering, and chewing a piece of tlio bone of 
the Onktehi, spirts it over him, and he begins to show signs of returninsx 
life. Then as the master pats energetically upon the breast of the 
initiated person, he, convulsed, strangling, struggling and agonizing, 
heaves up the shell which falls from his mouth on a sack placed in 
readiness to receive it. Life is restored and entrance is effected in- 
to the aAvful mysteries. He belongs henceforth to the medicine- 
dance, and has a right to enjoy tlie medicine feast. Now comes tlie 
season of joy. The novice takes the wakan sIh-II in his hand, and 
in the mi<lst of savage demonstrations of the wildest kind, exhiljits 
it to all the members, and to the wondering by-standers who throng 
the enclosure outside. The dance continues inters)>ersed witli 

shooting each other," rests, smoking, eating and drinking, till they 
have jumped to the music of four sets of singers 

The following chants, which are used in this dance, will sufTiciently 
evince its character and tendency, and the character of its menil»ers, 



especially when it is considered that this is the rkliciox of immor- 
tal BEINGS — men and women. 

" Wariuta olma micaqe. 
" Waduta ohna inicagc. 
*' Jlinizata, itc wakan, niaqu — Tunkan sidan." 

He created it for me enclosed in red down 
He created it for me enclosed in red down. 
He in the water, with mysterious aspect, gave it to me— luy grandfather. 

Here is another of like significance : 

" Tunkansidan pcjihuta wakan micage. 

He wicake. 
"Minizate oicage wakan kin maqu ze. 
"Tunkansidan ite kin zuwinta wo. 
"Wahutopa zuha, ite zuwinta wo " 


My grandfather created tor me mysterious medicine. 

That is true. 
The mysterious being in the water gave it to me. 
Stretcli out your hand before the face of my grandfather 
Having a quadruped, stretch out your hand to him. 

The celebration of the medicine-dance, is the extraordinary part 
of a system of Dakota superstition, of which the medicine-feast is 
the ordinary and every day part. A very large portion of the 
adults belong to this fraternity. 


This name signifies "yZ^^r," from I'iinjan, to fly. Lightning emanates 
from this flijer^ and the thunder is tlie sound of his voice. This is 
tlie universal belief. 

The existence of thunder is a matter of fact, apparent to all 
people. It mu>t be explained and accounted for by the savage as 
well as by the sage, and by tlie first with as much confidence as by 
the latter, and more ; for he who is not supported in his tenets by 
reason, must of necessity be confident or fail. He must evince seven 
times as much confidence as one who has the sup[>ort of reason, 
wliieh the wise man observed to be the case in his day. The Indian 
has no more doubt, apparently, of the correctness of his religious ten- 
ets, than he has th;tt a hungry man wants to eat. JTe is as confi- 
dent of the correctness of his tlieury, in relation to the thunder, as we 
are that it is caused by the passing of electricity from one cluud to 





The lightning, which is so terrible in its efTects to destroy life, or 
to shiver the oak to atoms, is to the Dakota simply tlie tonwan of a 
vringed monster who lives and flies throngli the lieavens shielded by 
thick cloud? from mortal vision. 

By some of the wakan-men. it is said that tliere are four varieties 
of the form of their external manifestation. In essence, liowever, 
they are but one. 

One of the varieties is hlack, with a long beak, and has four joints 
in his wing. Another is yellow, without any beak at all, with wings 
like the first, onh' that he has but six quills in each wing. The 
third is of scarlet color, and remarkable, chiefly, for having eiglit 
joints in each of its enormous pinions. The fourth is blue and glob- 
ular in form, and is destitute both of eyes and ears. Immediately 
over where the eyes sliould be, is a semi circular line of lightning 
resembling an inverted half-moon, from beneath which project down- 
ward two chains of lightning, zigzaging and diverging from each 
other as they descend. Two plumes, like soft down, coming out 
near the roots of the desceiRlino; chain? of liirhtnin"; serve for winirs. 

These thunderers, of course, are of terrific proportions. They 
created the wild rice and a variety of prairie grass, the seed of which 
bears some resemblance to that of the rice. 

At the western extremity of the earth, which is presumed to be 
a circular plain surrounded by water, is a high mountain, on the sum- 
mit of which is a ir-eautiful mound. On this mound is tlie palace of 
this family of gods. The palace opens towards each of the four car- 
dinal points, and at eacli doorway is stationed a watclier. A hutter- 
ily stands at tlie east entrance, a bear at the west, a reindeer at the 
north, and a beaver at the soutli. Except the liead, each of tliesc 
wakan sentries is enveloped witli scarlet dovrn of the most exquisite 
softness and beauty. (Indiajis are great admirers of scarlet, and to 
induce a'child to take some nauseous drug, the mother has but to as- 
sure it that it is red.) 

The AVakinyan gods are represented as ruthless, cruel and de- 
structive in tlieir disposition, and ever exert their powers for the 
gratification of this, tlieir ruling propensity, at the expense of what- 
ever may come in their way. They are ever on the war path," 
and are sharp shooters." 

Once for all, it may be here stated, that a mortal hatred exists be- 



twcon the difTereiit families of the gods, like that ^vllicll exists l>e- 
tween Indians of different tribes and languages. Tlic two families 
already mentioned, like the Dakota and the Chippewa, are always in 
mortal strife. Neither lias power to resist the tonwan of the other, 
if it strikes him. Their attacks are never open, and neither is safe, 
except as he eludes the vigilance of the other. The fossil remains 
of the mastodon are confidently believed to be tlie bones of the Onk- 
tehi which have been killed by tlie AVakinyan. These relics of the 
gods are carefully preserved and held in awful esteem, for their wa- 
kan virtues. The Wakinyan, in his turn, is often surprised and 
killed by the Onktehi. ]\rany stories are told of the mortal combats 
of these divinities. The writer listened to the relation, by an eye 
witness, of a story in sul)stance ;is follows : '* A Wakinyan god 
was killed, and fell on the bank of the Blue Earth river, which was 
twenty-five or thirty yards between the tips of the wings." 

From the Wakinyan god, the Dakotas have received their war im- 
plements. (spear and tomahawk,) and many of those pigments, which, 
if properly applied will shield them from the weapons of their ene- 
mies. Dressed in these pigments, they feel as secure as did the fabled 
Greek, protected by tlie viilcanian shield. 

It almost seems as if it were becoming to offer an apology before 
proceeding, but it is ventured to presuir.e on the good nature of the 
reader and introduce 


The signification of the term is, that which stirs. This god is too 
subtle in essence to be perceived by the human senses, and is as sub- 
tle in his disposition as in his being. Though invisible, he is ubiquit- 
ous, ITo is supposed to have a controlling influence over intellect, 
instinct and passion. His symbol is the boulder ; and, hence, bould- 
ers are universally worshipped by the Dakotas. lie lives, also, in 
what is termed the four winds," and the consecrated spear and toma- 
hawk are animated by his spirit. Tie is much gratified to see men 
in troulde, and is j)articularly glad when they die in battle or other- 

lie can rub a man of the use of his rational faculties, and inspire 
a beast with iiitf^iligence, so tliat the hunter, like an idiot, will wan- 
der and become bewildered on the ])rairie or in the forest, and the 


game on whicli lie hojiod to fea>t his family at night, escapes with 
perfect ease. Or, if he please, he may reverse his influence, and t]\o 
animal has not even brutal instinct to escape from its pursuer. 

This god is passionate and capricious to tlie highest degree ; and, 
lience, it is very ditficult to retain his favor. Often he is likened to 
a passionate, whimsical child, taking offence at everything, while it 
is as necessary to secure his favor, on the part of tlic hunter or the 
warrior, as it is to procure food, or to prove one's manhood by taking 
a scalp. Subordinate to this god are the buzzard, the raven, the 
fox, the wolf, and other animals of a similar nature. To him belong 
the "armor feast" and the "vapor bath," 

The armor feast " is of ordinary occurrence when the provisions 
are of sufficient abundance to support it, in which the warriors assem- 
ble and exhibit the sacred implements of wnr, to v/hicli they burn 
incense around the smoking sacrifice. 


This god is so curiously wakan that he is entitled to a brief no- 

Like the Wakinyan, there are four varieties of them, all of which 
assume, in substance, the human form, but it would be unnecessarily 
tedious to note the differences of form, especially as the difTerences 
are unimportant. 

These objects of superstition, are said to be armed with the bow 
and arrows, and with the deer-hoof rattle, which things are charged 
with electricity. One of the varieties carries a drum, which 
is also charged with the same fluid. For a drumstick, he holds a 
small "Wakinyan god by the tail, striking on the drum with the 
beak of the god. This would seem to us to be an unfortunate posi- 
tion for a god to be in, but it must be remembered that it is wakan, 
and the more absurd a thing is the more wakan. 

One of these gods, in some respects, answers to the wreathed 
zephyr of Grecian mythology. It is the gentle whirlwind which 
is sometimes visible in the delicate waving of the tall grass of the 

By virtue of their medicine and tonwan powers, they render aid 
to such men as revere them, in the chase, in inflicting and healing 
diseases, and especially in the gratification of their libidinous pas- 



That fea;ft, in th*:' ol»<«.'rvancc of which tlie worshippors clip their 
iiaiids into tho luMiini: ketth* an<l liftinir tlie water in tlieir hands, 
tlirow it over each f>'Jior'-- naked Imdics with impunity, belongs to this 
jrod . 

The nature of Tie- IJryoka is not .-imply sujiornat ural, it is the 
opposite of nature. 

He expresses jovs I'V siiflis and groans, and by as^umincr a most 
doleful aspect, and sorrow and pain by opposite sounds and aspect. 
IFeat causes tl:eir iiesh to shiver, and their teeth to chatter, while 
cold makes them persj-ire and pant. It is said of tl\em, that in the 
coldest weatlier of the Minnesota winter, when mercury congeals, they 
seek some prominence on the prairie, where they put up some bushes 
to shelter tliera from tbe rays of the sun, under whi(di they sit naked 
and fan themselves as they swelter with heat, and in the oppressive 
heat of summer tiu'v h.dd around them robe on rolje, and lean over 
a rousing lire, sniveling and shaking with cold like one in a fit of the 

They feel pt'rft_^ct assurance when beset with dangers, and quake 
witii terror when safe. W'nh them falsehood and truth are reversed, 
good is their evil and evil their good. 

Years ago at Lac oui-parle, tiie mother of the tall, " curly haired 
chief," riMZAiiDF.YA. was informed thai it was required of her to make 
a feast to the Heyoka. She was so much opposed by some of her 
friends that she failed to comply with the wakan mandate, but she 
assured her friends, that as a penalty, they Avould be mortified bv 
seeing her flesh become black, aud her head bald, which came true. 
By degrees her flesh did become very dark, and her head bald, but 
to an intelligent ol-server, it was abundantly evident, that instead 
of being an intliction of the offended god, it was the result of neg- 
lecting to wash, even her face, for several years, and pulling out her 
own hair by little and little. 


As the sun is visible to all men, and as it has been an object of 
su|)er3titious regard on the part of almost all pagan nations of past 
generations, it will not be thought worth while, perhaps, to mention 
ihe fact that the Dakota too, worships the sun. It will not, howev- 
er, be quite out of place to put on record a few tracts in relation to 
this part of Dakota worship, by which ihey presume to honor this 



glorious objt.'ct ; facts wliicli evinces the seiitiinents of tlio delmleJ 
Avorshippers. The ((»ll()\vin<r, from the pen of Rev. S. R. Riggs, is 
to the point.. 


The Sun is, from many circuiustaiices, a natural object of \vorship 
amonf'' the uneiiliLrhteiied nations of men. "Willi llie Dakotas, the 
sun is sometimes appealed to as a witness. Sometimes tliey prav 
to it, generally with the honorahh^ tith- of Ilaii/.-n ijujn. Sometimt'<, 
as a god, it communi«-at<*s witli men in dre;ins and visions. But tin- 
nature of the commnnication is tliat tlie men should dance the nrlira- 
iiijagiracii)!, with the promi.-e (»r success in hunting or war. Gen* 
erally the object of dancing to the sun is to secure victory over ene- 
mies- In this aspect it is a iralh,! usiki or self immolation to the sun ; 
it is an offering uf) of one's strength and manhood to secure the aid 
of the snn in the day of battle. 'J'he liihh-' says, " the stars in tln-ir 
courses fough t."' 

There are occasions, also, Avhen a man dances the sun dance as a 
thank-offering. He is sick and apprehends he will die. He makes 
a vow tlat if his life is spared he will dance to tlie sun. Or, he is 
on the war path and he pravs to the gr^-at hnnha ijnpi for success, 
promising in that event to dance to his honor. These are said to 
be the occasions and reasons for the iwn nya(j -wricipi. 

More than a quarter of a centurv has passed since I witnessed 
this ceremony, and I was there Only a couple of hours about the 
middle of the day. On the north side a couple of tents. fasteTied 
together, were stretched around poles, forming a large semicircle. 
In the focus of the radii stood three dancers, with their eyes turn- 
ed toxyards the sun, which was then in tlie south. Their faces 
and the upper part of their bodies were gaily painted, and their 
heads were adorned with feathers. A blue or red blanket was strap- 
ped around their waist, and hung down like a woman's skirt. Each 
one liad a life made of the bone of a swan's wing, on which they 
kept up a toot-toot-toot ing, varied by the measures of the dance 
and the song. Behind them in the shadow of the tent sat the sing- 
'er.s and })layers on instruments — the drums and rattles. A few wom<'n 
sat still farliier back, who formed a part of the choir, and joined in 
the chorus. 

The chief dancer on tliis occasion, if I remember rightly, was J/a- 



hipiya sua, wlio afterwards sliot liirnself The dancers always inake 
incisions in tlieir flf^.-ii. in wliicli they insert swan's down or horse 
hair. These incisions are commonly made on the shoulders and arms. 
When the sacrifice is intended to be as complete as possible, an incis- 
ion is made in the back, through which a cord of horse hair is passed^ 
and a buflalo head is attached to the lower end, so that every time 
the body moves un and down, a slight motion is given to the buffalo 
head which lies on the ground behind liim. At the close, if his 
strength remains sutncient. he drags the Iniffalo head around the 

Occasionally a man inflicts still more torture on himself than this. 
He makes an incision in his breast, and passing a cord through it he 
draws it tight and fastens the other end to a pole which stands imme- 
fpately in front of liira. 

The ceremonies of the sun dance commence in the evening. I 
have boon under tlie impression that the time of the full moon was 
selected, but I am now informed that it is not essential. The sing- 
ers and players on instruments practice their songs in the night, and 
there is some dancing. There is also feasting. Before mornmg the 
company generally lie down and sleej) awhile. 

The real dance commences wlien the Ilanl'ayajn' makes his appear- 
ance. Then the dancers begin and continue without eating, drinkintj, or 
reding, until nature is quite exhausted. Some join in the dance as par- 
ticular friends of tlie d;incer. They may occasionally sit down and 
smoke, but if the maker of the dance falls down or is observed to be 
quite exhausted, a friviid may step foi'ward and make a valuable pres- 
ent to some one. In this case the dancer may rest av/hile and begin 
again. Some give out •■ntiroly before the sun goes down, when the 
dance is concluded, (.)tlicrs are able to continue into the night, 

A man who dances to tlie sun is expected to make a song of liis 
own, which embodies the god communication to him. 


MAUirivA sl'a's song. 

1. Ilen-i juha bibu e : 

N;>/.i t"i>:i heiiti yulia occotiway;! iiunw e 


Hating these I come ; 

Having tbcse fyur souls may I make luy camp fires." '- 


COLLI- Cf ION g OF Till! 

He was to take four scalps in battle. 

2. 'Anpctu kin watniconga, "The day that is determined for mc, 

Makatakiya u we May it come earthward." 

8. Mina;?i topa ye do, 

Hoksidan wakan cicu e do. 

4. Wiwanyake toki da he; " Wiwanyaki (a bird) where have you gone 

Nitakoda wanyaka ye. Behold your friend." 

6. Anpetu kin wanniyag hi nanwe. 

"May the day come to see thee." 

6. Wacinhc wakanyan With a crown of glory, 
Taninyan wahiuawapc. I come forth. 

This is the language of the sun as it rises in glorj. 

7. ifahipiya sua, kode, 
Mini yain hwo. 

This is sung by the singers when the man is almost dying of thirst. 
The brave man pays no attention to it. 

The following is from the pen of Major General Curtis, dated 
Fort Sully, June 2, ISGG : 

*' The whole of tlie three thousand Sioux camped about us gave me early 
information of their design to have the annual sun dance at this time and 
place, the season of the year — the trees in full leaf— liaving now arrived, 
and they wished me to inform Colonel Recor, the commnnfler of the sol- 
diers, that however boisterous their demonstrations might be, they would 
all be peaceable and of a pious cliaracter. 

On yesterday, June 1, the dancing was delayed at intervals to allow tor- 
tures to be intlicted. Two or three men stood over the devotee with needle 
and knife, very quietly performing pcnan{;e, according to the customs of 
all these sacerdotal rites, as follows; First, they cut the arms in several 
places by striking an awl in the skin, raising it and cutting out about half 
an inch ; this is done on both arms, and sometimes on the breast and back. 
Then wooden setons (sticks about the thickness of a common lead pencil) 
are inserted through a hole in the skin and tlesh. Then cords or ropes are 
attached to these sticks by one end, and to the pole at the other end, the 
victim pulling on tlie ropes till the seton sticks tear out the Hesh and skin. 
I saw one with two setons thus attached to his breast, pulling till it seemed 
to draw the skin out tliree inches, and finally requiring nearly his whole 
might to tear out the seton. 

One, painted black, had four ropes attached at once. The puUii.g 
out is done in the dance, the pulling carrieil on in the time of tlie music by 
jerk, jerk, jerk, and the eye, head, andlront all facing the sun in the form 
of supplication. One had four setons attached to four dry ballalo head 
bones. These were all strung and suspended to Ids tlesh b\' roj)es that 
raised each head sonu.' three feet olV the ground. He danced hard to tear 
tliem out, but they would not break the skin. One came olf the stick ac- 
cidentally, but it was again fistened. Finally, these heavy weights (each 



at least twenty -five pouiitls weight,) not tearing out by their own weight 
or motion, the devotee gave a comrade a horse to take hold of the rope 
and tear out the setons. While the>e were being thus tortured, their fe- 
male relations came in and had piee'-s cut out of their arms to show their 
appreciation of tlie valor and devotion of their kinsmen. Still, as soon as 
the victim could be prepared, the music was renewed, and the dismal dance 
went on, victims' bo. lies now mingled with blood, })aint, and setons. 

There being several steamboats and many soldiers here, a crowd of spec- 
tators rather embarrassed the performers, so they concluded the perform- 
ance at twelve o'clock, having only danced twenty-four hours instead of 
forty-eight, as they usually do. All the devotees gave away all their ponies 
and other valuables to their friends, had their wounds carefully dressed by 
attendant medical men, and sat down to an abundant feast of dog soup 
and buflalo meat. 

So ended this most barbarous and painful exhibition of savage idolatry. 
The picture is still deeply impressed on my senses, but I cannot give half 
the horror of the scene, either by pen or i)eucil.'' 

The object of these rites is to obtain tlie favor of the god to 
whom they relate. 

In these divinities whicli have Iteen mentioned, and innumerable 
others like them^ as various as tlie wildest imaginations, maddened 
by passion, can create, or their circumstances and felt wants demand, 
the Dakotas find all that they desire of a religious nature. These 
divinities communicate with mortals through the mediiun of 


These men are the representatives of the gods on earth, to men. 
They are tlie gods in human form, tliough in diminished proportions. 
Tliey a'l'e essentially diilerent from other men — wakan. 

The original essence of these men and women, for they apjujar 
under both sexes, first wakes into existence floating in ether. As 
the winged seed of the thistle, or of tlie cottonwood, lloats on the 
air, so they arc gently wafted by the four winds'' — Taku-skan- 
skan'' — through the regions of s[)ace, until, in due time, they find 
themselves in the abode of some one of tlie families of the superior 
godS; by whom tliey are received into intimate fellowship, Thrre 
the embryotic medicine-man remains till lie becomes familiar with the 
characters, abilities, desires, caprices, and employments of tlie gods. 
He becomes essentially assimilated to them; imbibingjhcir spirit, and 
becoming acquainted with all the chants, feasts, lasts, dances and 
sacrificial rites which it is dijcmed necessarv to impose on men. 



Some of the more favored of those men are privileged to pass 
through a succession of isuch inspirations, with various families of 
the divinities, until they an- completely vnkanized, and prepared for 
human incarnation. 

In particular, they u're invested with the irresistable powers of 
the gods to do good or evil, with their knowledge and cunning, and 
their everywhere present influence over mind, instinct and passion. 
They are instructed how to inflict diseases and to heal them, to discover 
things concealed from common men, to foretell future events, to 
manufacture implements of war, and infuse -into them tlie missive 
virtue — the tonwan — of the gods, and to perform all sorts of won" 

Thus qualified for his mission, this germ of wakan, to become in- 
carnate, is again committed to the direction of the ''four winds." 
From his elevated position, he selects a place which is to be the scene 
of his service, and enters tlie body of an unborn infant. Thus he 
efiects an entrance into the world and into the sympatliies of mortals. 

When one of them dies, he returns to the abode of his gods, where 
he receives a new inspiration and a new commission, to serve a new 
generation of men in some other portion of the world. In this 
manner he passes through four inspirations and incarnations, and 
then returns to his primitive nothingness. These characters, how- 
ever, do not always a])pear in human form, but enter the bodies of 
beasts, as the wolf, the bear, and the bullalo. 

To establish their claims to inspiration, these characters must, of 
course, perform things that are wakan, in a manner to satisfy those 
on whom they purpose to impose their superstitions. 

For this purpose, they artfully lay hold of all that is strange and 
mysterious, and if })0ssible turn it to their own advantage. To do 
tills is the one object and ellbrt of their lives. It is their study day 
and night, at all times and on all occasions. They think about it 
when awake, and dream about it when asleep. They make use of 
all the means in their power, and their zeal never grows cold. 

They a>sume familiarity with whatever astonislies other peopk\ 
witli a degree of self complac(.'ncy, and an air of impudence and 
assurance which strikes th« observers with amazement. Tliev fore- 
tell future events with a degree of accuracy or of ambiguity which 
is sulHcient for their purpose. Those at one village alfect to l.>e 
familiar with what is transpiring at another village leagues distant 



They [)ro(lict tlio result of a wuv expedition as if they had nlrendy 
l)een tliere ; and if the pr.Mlictiou is not fulfilled they find no difTicul 
t\- in setting: the failure to the nceount of the sins of their followers. 

They inflict diseases and heal them. They kill and make alive. 
When occasion re<[uires they seem to calm the tempest, or to raise 
the storm, and converse with tlmnder and lightning, as with a fa- 
miliar friend and e([ual. In their devotional exercises, at times, they 
wrangle with the goils, charge them witli duplicity, and arc defiant. 
]f one of them is kilhnl hy the electric fluid, which sometimes hap- 
pens, it only proves t1ie truth, to the living, of all he had taught 
them concerning the Wakinyan, and that he had provoked their anger 
by his sins. 

The medicine man is not onlv familiar with the superior gods who 
are out of him, but he also has inferior gods dwelling in him, to sat- 
isfy whose cravings he frec|urntly, and in the most public manner, 
tears off with his teeth and eats the raw, quivering, bleeding flesh of 
newly-slaughtered animals, like a starving beast or bird of prey, de- 
vouring parts of dogs or fish entire, not excepting bones and scales. 


In the summer of 1852, a feast of this kind was observed, at 
Shakopcc. It was made by Anorjinajin, second chief of the Little 
Six band and others. 

After two days spent in introductory ceremonies, including '* vapor 
bath" and ''armor-feast," a tent was prepared opening towards th^ 
east, with a spacious court in front constructed of bushes. Within 
the court each of those who were to participate, had a bush set in 
which was prepared a nest. 'J' wo pikes, eacli about one foot long, 
rouged with vermilion and ornamented with down from the swan, 
were placed on som.'. brandies of trees in the enclosure. The fishes 
M'ere entire as they had been taken from the water. Near the fishes 
were placed dishes of birch bark tilled with sweetened water. The 
implements of war, belonging to the }»artici[)ants, were solemnly ex- 
hii)ited in the tent. The dancers, who were naked, except the 
breech cloth and moccasins, wcm'C fantastically smeared with pigments 
of various colors, .and otherwise ornamented with down, white and 
red. Four ranks of chanters and musicians were in attendance. 
The dancers claimed to be inspired by the cormorant. They danced 
to the music of three ranks of tlie singers, till their chants closed, 



taking little seasons for rest and smokincr. AVhen the fourtli rniik 
struck the drum and lifted vp their voices,''' the inspiration was pour- 
ed out and the welkin tr(^nil)lcd, and the dancers approached the 
fishes in a rarre, like starvinii; beasts, and without using their hand.-, 
tore oQ' piece after piece, scales, bones, entrails and all, and swallow- 
ed them, drinking at the same time from their bark dishes. Nothing 
remained at the close except the heads, fins and large bones, which 
they had deposited in their ne>ts. To end the ceremony, what few 
articles of clothing had been worn on the occasion, were od'ered in 
sacrifice to the gods. 

Thus, while tlie favor of the Taku Wakan was secured, the fact 
that the dancers were inspired, was demonstrated to most of .the six 
hundred wondering spectators. By performances of thousands of 
wakan things, such as have been hinted at, these men triumphantly 
substantiate their claims to inspiration, and they are fully believed 
to be " the great powers of the gods," and, among their peoplo, hcjld 
a position like that of the Thugs of India. The wakan qualities 
■which these persons possess, or assume to possess, qualify them to 
act in any capacity and in any emergency. 


As a priest, with all the assurance of an eye-witness — of an equal 
and of intimate and long continued communion, he bears testimony 
for the divinities. lie gives a minute description of their pliysical 
appearance, their dwelling place, and their attendants. He reveals 
their disposition, their powers ana their em])loyments, as one who 
has been with them. He dictates prayers and chants, institutes 
fasts and feasts, dances and sacrifices. He defines sin and its oppo- 
site and their respective consequences. In short, he imposes upon 
the people a system of demonism and superstition, to suit their de- 
praved tastes and passions, and caprices, and circumstances, and 
interests as savages, with an air of authority and wnth a degree of 
cunning which does seem to be almost sui)erhuman — a system so art- 
fully devised, so well adapted to them, so congenial to them, that it 
readily weaves itself into, and becomes a part of them, as really as 
the woof becomes a part of the texture, ensuring their most obsequi- 
ous submission to its demands. It becomes part of their bodv, soul 
and spirit. They breathe and speak, and sing and live it. It is not 
something that can be assumed and laid ofl' at pleasure. 



lu the character of a priest, the influence of these demons in hu- 
man form is so complete and universal, that thirty years ago, scarce 
an individual could be found among them who was not a servile 
religionist. Every individual was trained to it from early infancy. 
Mothers put the consecrated oll'ering into the little unconscious hand 
of their babes at tlie breast, and caused them to cast the present to 
the god. As soon as the little tongue could articulate, it was taught 
to say, grandfather befriend me ;" or "grandmother befriend me." 
On one occasion tlie writer witnessed a wlioie band, old and young, 
male and female, march out to the lake shore in Indian file, and per- 
form their acts of devotion, and offer their prayers at the back of the 
medicine man, who was at the same time officiating between them 
and the god — each individual was obliged to the performance — the 
mothers fixing tlie little mouths of unconscious infants carefully, 
reverently, on the stem of the consecrated pipe, which the priest 
extended to them backward over his shoulder. 

Much as tlie savage loves ease and self-i^ndulgence he vrill cheer- 
fully subject himself to olraost any privation, discomfort and toil, for 
days, weeks, or even months together, in order to procure the neces- 
sary provisions for a sacrifice which the priest assures him the gods 
demand. If he fails he fully believes that the penalty may be the 
infliction of any, or all tlie evils to which an Indian is exposed. A 
man made a trip on foot from the " Little Rapids," on the ■Minnesota 
river, to Big Stone liake, and purchased and brought on his back, a 
pack of dried bufl'alo meat, weighing, probably, sixty or seventy 
pounds, a distance of nearly two hundred miles, to be used in the 
medicine-dance — a sacrifice to the Onktehi and to the souls of the 
dead. This he did because the priest had assured him that it was 
the will of the Taku-Wakax. 


In this capacity the wakan-man is an indispensable necessity. 
Kvery Dakota man sixteen years old and upward, is a soldier, and is 
formally and wahanly enlisted into his service. 

From him ho receives the implements of war, as the spear and 
tomahawk, carefully constructed after a model furnished from the 
armory of the gods, painted after the divine prescription and charged 
with the missive virtue — the tonwan — of the divinities. From him 
also he receives those paints which serve as an armature for the 



To obtain these necessary articles from the Mde Taiiuxka — tlic 
War Propliet — the proud applicant is required, for a time, to abu-^e 
himself and serve him, while he L'oes through a series of })ainful and 
exhanstiuf;; performances, which are necessary on his part to enlist 
the favorable notice of the gods. Tliese performances consist chiefly 
of "vapor-baths," fastings, chants, prayers, and nightly watching. 

The spear and tomahawk being prepared and duly consecrated 
and rendered wakan, the person who is to receive them, with a most 
piteous wail and suppliant aspect, approaches the god-man and rever- 
ently presents to him the pipe of prayer. lie then lays his tremb- 
ling hand on the head of his master, and sobs out his desires in sub- 
stance as follows : 

"Pity thou me, poor and helpless — a woman — and confer on me 
the ability to perform manly deeds." 

The prophet then, witli the majestic mien of a god, places in his 
hand the desired weapons, as he says, "Go thou and test the swing 
of this tomahawk, aiid the thrust of tliis spear; but when in triumph 
thou shalt return — a man — forget not thy vows to the gods." 

In this manner every man, it is said, is enlisted into the service of 
the war prophet, and enlisted for life. 

The weapons thus received, are preserved by the Dakota warrior, 
as sacredly as was the "ark of the covenant" by the pious Hebrew 
of ancient times. Tliey are carefullv wrapped in cloth, together 
with sacred pigments, and in fair weather are every day laid outside 
of the lodge, and mav never be touched by an adult feinale. 

Every warrior feels that his success, both on the battle-field and in 
the chase, depends entirely upon the strictness, prom[)tness and con- 
stancy witli which he adlieres to the rules which are imposed upon 
him by the wakan war leader. 

The influence of the medicine-man in this capacity, permeates tlic 
whole community, and it is hardly possible to over-estimate it. 
Those who are led by hiiu will be murderers, it is their trade. Tliey 
arc commissioned for this. Those who are bound to these war- 
prophets, by such rites, tuill he led h>i him unless they renounce tlieir 

The Indian, if he can, will kill a foe, whoever he be, as l<">ng as 
he is a j^agan. He is as apt to do it as a duck is to swim. The fa- 
vor of the gods, and even his very maidiood, depends njion it. lie is 
not a man till he has killed a foe. Till their hands have been dipped in 



Wood they arc liahlo to be abused and insulted in the most outrageous 
manner. Young men, in sii^dit of St. i'aul, liave been ol)liged to 
assume the petticoat and exhibit themselves as women in tlie public 
dance, because they had not killed a loe. The 'pagan Indian, in a 
sense, is obliged to be a murderer. 


The power of the Doctor "caps the climax." In him all the 
powers of the gods meet, as the colors blend in tlie rain-bow. The 
doctor is revered as much, perhaps, as the superior gods themselves. 
The subordinate gods dwell in them and confer on them the power 
to suck out disease from the human body. If long without ])ractice, 
it is said that the gods in them become restless, and subject them to 
much inconvenience. To pacify them it is represented that they 
sometimes obtain and drink considerable quantities of liuman blood. 

"When one of these doctors has been called, with due respect, to 
administer relief to a sick person, the patient is placed on a blanket 
on the ground, in a lodge vacated lor the purpose, with the bodv 
chiefly naked. The doctor also lays off his own clothes, except the 
breech cloth. After chants and prayers, the rattling of the sacred 
shell, and numeruus otlier noisy ceremonies, with an air and attitude 
of self-conceit and impudence, which only a devil could inspire, he 
mutters out the following, or something similar : The gods told 
me that having this, 1 might approach the bones of a dead man even, 
and set him on his feet." ile then drops on his knees, at the patient's 
side, and applying his mouth to the part of the body immediately 
over what is su|)posed to be the seat of the disease, he sucks with 
frenzy, at the same time rattling the shell with the utmost violence. 
In this manner, the god which is in the doctor, draws the disease 
from the sutlercr. After a considerable time spent in tliis manner, 
like an enraged beast, he suddenly starts to his I'ect in apparent ago- 
ny, lie utters dreadful, indescribable sounds, in variety, and groans 
which may be distinctly heard for a mile or more, at the same time 
violently striking his sides with his hand, and the earth with his feet, 
twisting the wliole body into the most hideous contortions, lie now 
grasps a dish of water with his left hand, and proceeds, with a dis- 
gusting sing-song bubbling, with his mouth in the water, to deposit 
the disease in the dish, keeping time still with the sacred rattle which 
he continues to shake with great energy. 



This operation is continuo<l witli brief intervals for smoking, for 
hours and sometimes day after day and nitdit after night. Tliis 
process sometimes elTeots a cure at once. At other times extra de- 
monstrations are deemed necessary. The doctor ascertains the sin 
which has been committed, and the particuLir god which has bef-n 
ofTended and inflicted the disease. Then lie makes an image of tlie 
ofTended god, \\-hich lie hangs on a pole and which is shot by three or 
four persons in rajnd succession. As the image falls the spirit of the 
god which is in the doctor, leaps out, and falling upon the spirit rep- 
resented by the image, kills it. On this it is expected that the sick 
one will recover. But it is not absolutely certain that even this will 
prove ei5\:'Ctual. After repeated experiments, the doctor often dis- 
covers that the god who inflicts the disease is mightier than the one 
by whom he is inspired, and he desists. Now, unless another doctor 
is found, competent to expel the demon, death ensues. The wakan- 
men are wakan co a degree corresponding to the strength of the gods 
by whom they are respectively inspired. 

If the higher doctor can be found, health will be restored, but it is 
difficult to obtain their aid. If not duly respected at all times, an^l 
on all occasions, and in all their relations, and well remunerated lor 
their services, in advance, they may let the patient die w^ithout exert- 
ing their powers, or perform their work deceitfully. This seems to 
be a necessary provision of their system, as it affords ample room to 
account satisfactorily for all failures. This operation is termed 
Wapiyapi, or renovation. There are instances where the doctor 
prevails on the gods to come in person and perform the operation for 
him. The following description of such a scene was obtained from 
an Indian who was present on th: occasion. The doctor was named 
Ked Bird, of the Lake Calhoun band, who was killed with his son 
by the Chippewas in the memoraldc battle of Rum River, in the 
summer of 1S30. The sack of Rod-Bird, which contains the sym- 
bols of the god-, and which was used on the occasion to which the 
narrative relates, has since providentially falleii into the hands of tlie 
writer, and will l)e herewith forwarded as a relic of superstition wor- 
thy of preservation. The gods employed were the Taki:-skax-?kan: 
A man had Ijeen sick a considerable time, and manv of the wakan- 
men had attempted, to the extent of their ability, to exorcise him, 
but without any fiivorable results. Red-Bird had in his service 
many of the gO'.ls called Taku skan-skan. It was decided in council 



that the case should be referred to tht'in. Accordingly, in the even- 
ing, a feast was prepared for the gods, to which they were called 
by chants, on the })art of the medicine men. A tent of j)archment 
was prepared for them. Thv doctor was bound, by carefully weav- 
ing strings and tying them firmly in all his fingers and toes. Then 
his arms were bound behind his back and he rolled u\> in a buffalu 
robe, and carefully bound in it by cords around it outside, lie had a 
little boulder in his bosom, a symbol of the gods. Ife charged those 
who bound him to do it thoroughly, assuring them tliat liis boys — his 
gods — would come and release hini. lie was so bound that he could 
not stir and then was rolled into the tent, and the sick man was 
placed by his side. Over him was hung a drum and a deer-lioof rat- 
tle ; a large number of spectators were in attendance — men, women, 
and children. Red Bird ordered that certain men present should 
chant to the gods, which they did. The doctor, in the mean time, 
was very demonstrative with his wakan jargon. A young man, who 
had been appointed for that purpose, then gave a wild yell, and all 
lights were suddenly extinguished. At the instant, a strong wind 
struck the tent, and the doctor cried out, as if he were in great fear, 
" Boys come carefully, your father is very weak, be careful." But 
the gods did not seem to regard the admonition and beat the drum, 
shook the rattle and heaved the tent furiously. The tent seemed to 
be full of them and they were very talkative and rude, but their 
voices were so fine, so soft, that we could not comprehend tlieir mean- 
ing. They performed the ceremony of exorcising the sick man. 
The sounds they made were so diflerent from what we had been 
accustomed to hear, and so ludicrous that we could scarcely re- 
frain from laughter, though we had been forewarned that if any one 
should laugh he should be knocked down. The gods called for a pipe^ 
and smoked many pipe's-full, indicating a large number of tliem, but 
it was dark and they could not be seen. Suddenly the gods were 
all gone, and the doctor ordered the torches to be lighted. All ex- 
pected to see him still bound, as he was thrust into the lent ; but, to 
their surprise, he was out of the robe, and all of his fingers and toes 
slipped out of their fastenings, though not a single knot had been 
untied. The sick man began from that time to recover, though all 
sick persons who are treated in this manner do not recover. All 
were confirmed in their faith and confidence in the Taku-Wakan," 




In some cases the sick are cured by obtaining a new blanket, and 
consecrating it to this class of gods, and then wrapping the sick per- 
son in it. 


As frequent allusion has been made to this ceremony, and as it is 
a rite which is so frequently observed, it seems necessary that it 
should be explained. The following description of this rite is fur- 
nished by Rev. S. R. Riggs : 

Simon's inipi. 

He took eight poles about the size of hoop polcs, of any wood that 
would bend readily, and putting the large ends in the ground, at prop- 
er distances in a circle, bent them over and tied them together at the 
top. This frame-work he then covered with robes and blankets, 
leaving a small hole for a door at one side. It was a little liigher 
than a man's head, when seated within. Before the door, he built a 
fire, and having selected four round stones (or nearly round) about 
as big as a man's head (size not essential), he placed them in the 
fire. lie called AVanidiokiya to be high priest on the occasion. 
The high priest then ordered him to call so many to be his helpers — 
the number determined by the size of the tabernacle — from two to 
five. With tliese he entered into the wokeya, all entirely naked. 

Simon stands at the door wit]iout,by the fire, to attend the stones, 
lie has made two paddles about twelve inches long and painted them 
red. These are to be used by the man within to move the stones 
with. He covers the ground, between the tent door and the fire^ 
with nice feathers and cut tobacco. When the stones are heated, 
the chief within calls to him to roll in the first one. This he does, 
with a brand, putting tobacco upon it and praying to it — Turkan 
wahipani raada wo, toka wahte kta wacia." So he rolls one after 
another of the stones over the tobacco and feathers and prays to each 
one. The men within receive them and roll them to the middle with 
the painted paddles — singing, hi, hi, hi, hi. 

They then commence their songs ; each one has a song. They all 
pray to the Tanhan to give Simon help in the day of battle, to make 
Inm strong and furious and successful. The chief then says to his 
fellows : *• Have mercy on me, I will cool these stones." And he 
proceeds to pour water on them. The steam fills the tent, which has 



been closed entiroly after tlie ?tones Avere rolled in. Theii tli»;y pray 
to the Talcii sl'an-slcan or to tlio Wru^lcan. All tlieir ^'od> are called 
W a sic an. 

Simon, thi.-j while, stands without cryinn; and praving. Tlie chief 
vml'an man receives an enconraging communication from the stone 
god which he delivers to Simon. When the stones are cold, they all 
cry and come out of the booth. So ends this sacrince to the stone 

The doctors count much on the efTicacy of this "va[)orbath" 
Perha]ts no other one rite is in more general use than this, on the 
part of all who wish to become conspicuously wakan. 

As regards the medicineman as a doctor, or exorcist, or juggler, it 
is not only believed that he can cure diseases, but tliat he can infiict 
them at his pleasure, on any person who may dare to offend him. It 
only requires a pxrpo.-^e on his part. They are feared, if possible, 
more than the gods themselves, for thejj are present in the camp and 
in tlie lodge. 

Tf a person is sick, he will give all he possesses and all he can ob- 
tain on credit, to secure the services of one of them, and will chorr- 
fullj give a horse, in advance, for a single performance sucli as ha? 
been described. In almost innumerable instances, families sacrifice 
all that they have on these pretenders, and to be abandoned by them 
is felt to be a dire calamity. Parents are as careful to train their 
children to respect and revere them, as was an early Puritan to inspire 
his children with reverence for the divine institutions of Christen- 
dom. They are respected. Tliey sit in the highest and have the 
best of everything, Tf some among them are thonght to be mere 
pretenders, this circumstance only serves to enhance the importance 
of those who are believed to be true. 

Thus, by imposing on an i'gnorant, savage people, "gods many," 
gods of life and gods of death, gods of hate and revenge and lust, 
gods of cold and of heat, gods of all the various passions, gods of 
lying, deceit and wrong, gods of gluttony and drunkenness, gods of 
lascivi(»usnes3 and impurity, gods of conception and abortion, gods 
innumerable — hideous and tiorrid monsters, Avhich are the creation 
of the inflamed and b':^deviled imajrinations of these Thuirs — these 
wakan men — they exert an influence over them, in the various ofii- 
cial capacities which they assume, which is absolute and which per- 



vados Dakota sociotv — an infl nonce wliicli Ijoais with all its force on 
each individual of their victim.-::, wliich tends to cru?li him down still 
deeper, if indeed there are dfjptlis below them, in iL^norance, super- 
stition, degradation and misery of soul and body, and force them into 
an unreserved surrfudcr to tlieir own wliims and caprices. Of these 
wakan men tliere are from five to twenty five in each of the little 
clans of T^akotas. 

Alkalies and acids mingled f^roduce efrorvescenco. A like result 
attends the contact of any opposing influences. Nothing can exceed 
the antagonism tliat lies between thutii and the system of supersti- 
tion which is the subject of the foregoing paper. Hoot, trunk, 
branches and leaves tliere is not the smell of truth to be t"ound on it. 
It is plainly o])poscd to truth and truth is opposed to it. It is op- 
posed by the truth of history, the truth of scien'ce, the truth of 
''animated nature/' social truth, political truth, and spiritual truth. 
All truth tends directly to its destruction. A little boy was one day 
listening to a missionary who was endeavoring to expdain to him the 
workings of the magnetic telegraph. The little half naked fellow 
seemed to catch an idea of natural truth, and starting up, excitedly 
exclaimed. "If that is true, then all our religion is false." A 
glimpse of truth broke the spell that bound his mind, and shook their 
whole system of suj^erstition to its foundations. It never recovered 
its hold on him. For more than thirty years, truth, in variety, has 
been held to the Dakota mind With a keen and jealous eye, these 
wakan men have watched its workings. It has mortified and pained 
them to see their cords of error snapped by it, one after another, 
and their hold on their blind victims loosened. Their ''craft was in 
danger." They have cried with voice and soul, these thirty years, 
" Great is tlie Taku-Wakan— the Taku-Wakan is wakan, and ] am 
their prophet." 

They have done all they could and dare do, in the circumstances, 
to oppose the progress of truth among their people, 1)V slanders and 
snares, gibes and abuse, and violence, and even murder. Rut in 
spite of their vigilance and eflbrts to oppose, truth advanced with 
slow but steady step, nnd worked like "leaven in the meal." Old 
men and young men, old women and young women, boys and girls, 
left them, and by open profession of regard for truth, stood boldlv up 
in the face of their lies. The symbols of the gods, which the priests, 
war prophets and doctors had painted, wreathed and paraded " on 



every liill," were defiantly spurned from their places by the feet of 
those who had been u.-^ed to obey their caprices and crouch to their 
authoritv. 'J'he feasts and dances were less fully attended, the med- 
icine-sack cast away, while hundreds of their former dupes, emanci- ♦ 
pated, read dully in their Bibles, sung the scng of Zion, and prayed, 
in their houses, to their "Father in heaven;" and on the Sabbath 
assembled in the Christian church, erected by their own hands, and 
seriously, reverently, joined in the holy worship of the God of heav- 
en. At sight of this, the rage of these demons in human form boiled 
over. The effervescence was mighty. Threats were fulminated 
and nothing but opportunity was wanting for tliem to rise, and re- 
establish by violence, the waning power of the Taku-Wakax, and 
to return, wading through the blood of Christians, if need be, to the 
homes of their pagan fathers. Tliey hoped to be able to roll back 
the providential wheels of the Almighty God. 

That opportunity, they deemed, had arrived when all our young 
men were being marched off to the South, probably to be swept 
away by the great rebellion. Hence, the out-break " of 1862. 
True, it has been said that the Christian Indians were our worst 
enemies, but where is the evidence of this? Were not those Chris- 
tian Indians, at least by profession, who rescued companies of our 
people from death, and conducted them, through perils, to a place of 
safety? Which is the exception? Were not those Christian. Indi- 
ans who, in a considerable number of cases sacrificed their little all 
and risked their lives to protect individuals and conduct them to safe- 
ty? Were there any exceptions? Which was the ^ja^a/i Indian who 
performed such a deed? Were not those Christian Indians, who, en- 
couraged by General Sibley, effected the deliverance from bondage 
and death, or treatment worse than death, of hundreds of captives 
at Camp Release?" Did not the leaders of that band bear Chris- 
tian names, given to them in the holy ordinance of baptism? Who 
are they who have composed tlic band of faithful " scouts," three 
long years standing on our frontiers to protect our citizens from the 
scalping-knife of the worshippers of the Tal'H-ioal'an, but Christian 
Indians ? Was there an exception here ? It is not claimed for these 
Indians that they were model Christians, but they were Christians 
by profession, and their names and the names of their wives and 
children stood enrolled on the records of the Christian church. 



On the other hand, who led tlie murderous bands in work of iho 
destruction? Little Ctov)'" and \\\^ 'Wd'haii associates, who, froi: 
old time, had been the open and detorminod enemies of the Christiaii 
religion, and most zealous and devoted worshippers of the Takn-v"- 
kan. It is not denied that individuals, professini:; Christians, wcrf 
involved in the wroncr and fled with the pagans to the plains. 
could name a few such. 

Even those of the pagan i>arty wlio surrendered themselves to on 
military authorities, felt that the Wood Lake battle was the resp' 
of the strife between their Medicuic-men and " God Ahnightij and fr 
that day, in their minds, the doom of their gods and of their re 
scutatives was sealed. Thej soon cast awav even the symbol 
their divinities, and a large portion of tliem began to seek to ki 
how to worship the God of the Bible. 

Those w^ikan-men will never suffer their people to enter into . 
honest treaty of peace with us while they are wakan-men. Thf;. 
can never be trusted. Circumstances may render them liarmless, but 
by their own showing, they are essentially wakan. They are devils 








r.Y Tiir-: 





CAVE," [No^v vnTniN the limits of the 



V I () X F. ]■: H r IM X T I N f, CO M V A X V . 




III response to the foregoing invitation, an»l to notices of the Crti- 
tenary celebration publislied in tlie daily journals, a number of tli(^ 
jnenibers of tlic Society assembled at the rooms at -1 o'clock r. m., 
AVednesday, Ma}- 1, 18G7, in order to proceed to the cave in a body, 
Messrs. Cook .V. Webb, of the Third Street Livery Stable," kindly 
furnished a four-horse omnibus for such as had not conveyances of tiieir 
own, while a num])er proceeded to the spot on foot. Xotwithstana- 
ing the weather was unseasonably inclement, the party enjoj-ed 
themselves finely. Jest, pun and repartee continually set the grou}. 
in a roar. 

Arriving at the ]>reAvery, the ]iarty alighted, and accompanied Ijy 
the rest of the pilgrims to the Shrine of Carver, who met us here, 
proceeded on foot down the bank of the river to the cave. Its en- 
trance Avas soon reached, and after lighting their lanterns and candles, 
the party entered the sacred precincts of the Waxen- 2\\lc, 

Carver's description of the cave, made carelessly a century ago, is 
yet a fair picture of it. lie says it is " a remarkable cave, of an 
ama7,!!ig depth. The Indians term it Wc'J:'.in-2\rJ>c that is, the 
dwelling of tlie Ch'oat Spirit. The entrance into it is about ten feer 
wide, the height of it five feet. TIkj arch within is near fifteen feet 
high, and about thirty feet broad. Tlic Ijottom of it consists of fine, 
clear sand. About twenty feet from the entrance begins a lake, the 
Avater of which is transparent, and extends an unsearchable distance, 
i threw a small jicliblc towards tlie interior })arts of it v.-itli mv 
utmost strength. I could liear that it lell into the water, and caused 
an abionishing and horrible ]ioi<e tliat reverberaled througii all those 
gloomy regions. J iound in the cave many Indian hiert»glyphics, 
which appearetl very ancient. 'J'hey were cut in a rude iiuinner upon 
the inside of the walls, which were couiposed of a slone so extremely 
soft that it might be easily jie'iiet rated with a kiiifo, a stone every- 



wlu^ro to ])0 loini'l near tlic Mi>^i.ssi|)jti. The cave is 011I3' ufcessible 
l>y ;i,^coiu]iiiLr a narrow, stoop pa.ssn<j,o tliat lies near the brink of tlie 
river," ^^'c. 

Ju the main, the ahove (lescrijition is yet a faithful one. 

The entrance to tlio cave, I'ro.ul r.s it is, is now almost cliokod up 
hy <letritus from tlic Mud'ahove, partly composed of masses of sand- 
stone crumbled oil' by the frost, and jiartly of rubbisli ^vhicll tlie 
workmen in a stone i^uarry at the tcp of the blufl' liave thrown over. 
Still there is an easy and safe entrance in the upper corner of the 
month, along the bottom of which passage-way flows a stream of 
sparkling, pure water. The track of the Winona and Saint Paul 
Uailway is graded along the bank of the river, a few feet in front 
of, and slightly lower than the mouth of the cave. Carver says that 
the cave was, at tlio time of his visit, " only accossiI.)le by ascendimg 
a narrow, steep passage that lies near the brink of the river.'' This 
was doubtless the case then, but the frosts and floods afterwards 
crumbled down tlio imnk in front of it, so that the mouth of the cave 
can easily be seen from the river. 

After entering the doorway of the cave, the ceiling suddenly ex- 
pands, and rises to a dome of considerable height. Twenty-eight 
feet from the entrance (''about twenty," as Carver estimates it) 
b'-gins a lake, " &c. T'owards the mouth side it has a beautiful beach 
of white sand. From this side, the water gradually deepens towards 
the rear end of the cavern, until, at the farthest extremity, it is ten 
feet or more in depth, and so clear that a person sitting in one end of 
the boat may sec the bottom by the light of a candle held over the 
olhcr end. On all the sidi.-s of this lake (exccptiiig the opening) the 
walls rise perpendicularly. They are stained vrith water to a iieight 
altout five feet a1»ovo the present waterline, showing that the lake 
must have risen to that height wIkmi the entrance was clioked u[» as 
it was when Pike visiied it in I8O0. 

At the outer edge of the lalce the height of the roof, or inner side 
of the doorway arch, is about five feet, and the width ab<-)ut 40 feet. 
It f-onn grows a little wider, and the roof expands into a capacious 
dome. It? aju.'x, as near as we could judge from the (liv:.kering lights, 
must be some 20 feet abo\-o the water. The widest part of the cave 
is about oO feet from the landing, after which it gradually narrows 
i-o the end of tho cave. It is ev<>rywh(M-(^ high enouLih to permit 



free in()vcm«"^iit of l!io l)(>;it witli<»iii. inooiiiiiioiliii;/ Uic uccui'.tiil . The 
roof finJ walls ;iic of tlic white s;iri(l.<loiie, dry, ami hainl.-omely 

''Indian liieroi^-lyphicH;," or }))ctOLrrai>h^;, as m'-ntioiicd by Carver, 
are still to be found on the walls, Imi wholher the same ones that 
adorned the AVakan-Tcebc when Jonathan visited it, or not. is dilli- 
cult to say. A rude representation of a serpent, some three feet in 
length, is the most prominent scu]})ture on tlie walls. It is stren- 
uously asserted by many antiquarians to be the seal, or family coat of 
arms of CHnh-ton-'jooni lish-cavj, whose signature to the great deed was 
a representation of a snake. Others say it is not Indian, but evidently 
the work of a while man. If so, it must have been done a long time 
ago, as our oldest settlers say it was there when they first visited the 

The distance from the edge of the water to the eytremc end of 
the cave, is about 112 feet. Long (in his Journal of a Skill" Voyage," 
puiilished by the Minnesota Historical Society in ISGO.) says that 
" the distance from its entrance to its inner extremity is 24 paces," 
but adds, the cavern was once probably much more extensive." 

From the entrance of the cave, the extreme end would not be vis- 
ible, as it bends considerably to the left. About half way up the 
cave, on the west side, is seen a small low grotto. Through this 
low opening llicrc is a connection with Dayton's Gave,* a few bun- 
dr(.'d feet up the river, and water flows from one into the other. 

The temperature of the cave is about 50^^, at wliicli figure it re- 
mains summer and winter, irrespective of the external heat or cold, 
scarcely changing a degree. 

* '* D.iyNMi's C.ivc," is •strictly not a c.ivc at all. It is a hollow space under a laiiro ^liclvinp; 
mck. If has hooii wailoil up in front, aiul was iisoil for mi\uy yoars as :i vo^t'tal>It' collar. I.U- 
torly it has boon nsod as a Itottliii;; vault for alo atul t^iuvjcr pop. At llie roar of tlio c.ivo is a 
pool (if oli ar c-i>M w itvr, liko that, in Carvor's Cavo, hut nmch smaller. Tliis tart ims |>r<-liably 
oausotl Dayton's Oavo to l.o misr;ikon tl>o real ('ar\ or's Cave. Miss T'i>li.)p, in hor I'lontl 
Jloiiits,'' (|>'if;e ;i"'l N'.'ill, 111 bis *' Jlistonj of Mi/inaofii," (pa;j;o "20^) fall into this error. 



Thero wore no fonnal ccreinonios wiiliiii tlif cavo. As soon as 
iho. party couKl liglil tlioir torcIiC>, tlio cavo was thoroiig;hly explored. 
A sMKill boat was foun'l niooreil to the sliore, cu})al>lo of Imldiii-r a 
couple of per>ous at a time, and tlie visitors, two at a time, embarked, 
and paddled up tlic cavern, one rowinp-, and the otlicr holding a lan- 
tern at the bow for a head liglil. 

When at the extreme rear end of the cavern, one of the party 
sang a son.g, the echoes of which were remarkable. We could well 
conceive how tlie pebble tlirowu by Carver cau.-cd an astonishing 
and horrible noise that reverberated througji all tliose gloomy regions 

The flashing of the lights held by the party, and their reflected 
gleam in the clear water of the pool — the ghost-like appearance of 
the visitors as tlicy moved about bearing their lights above their 
heads — made a weird scene quite in character with the sacrcdness of 
tlie spot, while tlio hollow echoes of the song and laugliter, and loud 
voices of the party, seemed to profane the awful mysteries of tliis 
" Dwelling of the Great Spirit." "We almost expected to see the 
sjiirits of Carver, and llavj-h0-}><jv' ijai.-an, and Otoh-ton-rjoom-lisli'Cdif, 
and their compeers, the makers of the deed and treaty on that grand 
council day a hundred years ago, start from the dark walls of the 
cave, and reprovo us for our levity and ill-time'd merriment and rude 
noise But those worthies were by no means forgotten on our cen- 
tenary visit. A toast to the memory of the adventurous Carver 
was drunk by each visitor present, in a bumper of that same cold, 
clear, refreshing water that Carver and his fellow councilors drank 
on that bright ]\ray day morning a hundred years ago. Our imagiii- 
atious almost pictured Carver seated i)i the cave, with his dusky 
friends around liim, making the speech which he records,, or drawing 
up and explaining to the Indians the famous deed to which they af- 
fixi.d tlieir marks. And as we quailed the })ellucid liquid our thoughts 
leaped across the eventful century that has passed since then — a cen- 
tury more crowded Avith great events than any that has jireceded it — 
that ga\»! birth to our great Jiation, and saw it rise to an acnu- of 
j'ower and greatness searct^ snrpa-sed in the history of tlie world. 
A\^e tlionglit ton, of ilie future, of tlie mighty changes tliat another 
hund)-('d v'^ars mn-l jirodueo. 


TIIK C A 11 \ Kit t'KXTllNAHY'. 

A century ago, (lie Wakan-Tf-cbe and tlio nido TiiJian liuts. To- 
day, around tlio same spot , are tlie liome.s of 20,000 |)<K>jile, ihc s|>ire.- 
of oilier temples mnr.' |U for '* tlie d wclliiiL'; of tlio (ircat Spirit," tlio 
institutions of a liiglier civilization than the Naudowessics knew d'. 

A century hence, when our deseend.'ints, and our successors in th'^ 
Historical Society celeorate the C'ar\-er ]>i-C/enten:iry, Avhai * h.-niL^o; 
will they too, ^Yitness V We can scarce imagine them ! AV'ho will Im- 
celebrating this anniversary then, and how ? Who will fill our 
places then ? 

"Wlio'M press for gold yon crowded street, 

A himJred years to conic "? 
Who'll iroad our jiaths w itii weary feet, 

A burulred years to como ? 
r*iiio trenihliog age, and fiery youth, 
And childhood with its heart of truth. 
The rich, the poor, on land atul sea — 
Where will the mighty millions be, 

A hundred years to come V 
Theu other men our lands will till 
And others then our places fill. 
While othe r hearts will heat as gay, 
And Inigbt the sunshine as to day, 

A hundred years to come. 

As we emerged from tlie cave, awed into silence ])y these impres- 
sive thoughts, the nohle steamer Itasca passed up the river, her deep- 
toned whistle, heralding her approacli to tlie citv. waking the echoes 
of the blufis and valos. The scream and roar of a locomotive near 
by answered her signal. How this would have startled Carver and 
his dusky companions if they had come unheralded at their council on 
that historic day a century ago ! Fatii Carver's proplietic soul, 
which predicted the overland route for the northwest passage, pud 
saw with the eye of faith mighty kingdoms emerge from the wilder- 
ness, and statcdy jialaces and solemn temples, with gilded spires reach- 
ing the skies, supplant the Indian huts whose only decorations nie 
the barl.narous trophies of their vanquished enemies," had not fore- 
seen the car, and steamer, and ttdograph traversing the wilderness, 
the mightiest agencies in the woi'k of making it Idossom as the roso. 

Reluctantly we terminated our centenary visit, to meet again at 
the cave, in tlu; persons of our descendants and successors, on ^fay 1. 
10G7, hoping that those who celebrate that dav may enjoy the event 
as much as we did the FiKST Ckxtknnial ^Fekting in Cakvkh's Cavk. 

'filK ( Ai;Vi:lt CKN'TK.VAIlV. 


PAllT II. 


Tlip mcinl)'">rs tho lli.-M orical Society o?s('inlilofl at S o'clock in 
the cvcninu' at the r>'oins of th;'* societr, to participnti! in tlb- Li'icTary 
Kxcrci.-cs of th'' Centv-nary Cclol)i-af ion Tlioro was an unu-uallv 
full attonflanO'V of merahers, to^oi hor with a number of invited <jue>ts. 

In thoahycnce of tiie Pre>i<lcnt, Rev. S. Y. ^TcMaster? was called 
to till' cliair. 

Rev. JoliU ^vfattock- then road a paper on '' TJio Life and Traveh 
of Jonathan Carv.-r."' which was listened to with irrcat interest by 
tlie members present. At its conclusion, on motion of Hon. A. 
Goodricli, a copy of tlie paper was refjue^ted for the use of the So- 

Some time was tlien spent in discussing the subject of Carver's 
explorations, ami tlie incidents of the visit to liie cave in the after- 

Col. Wm. 11. Xoliles then, by invitation of the Society, read a 
])aper on *' Tlie Ancient Indian ^lounds and Fortifications of the 
North AVesl," On motion, a copy of the same was reciuested for pres- 
ervation in the archives of the societv. 

Regret having been expressed by some of the members jiresent 
that the fnn<ls of the Society would not warrant the outlay necessary 
to print in i-amphlet form an account of the Centenary proc(M>dings, 
Geo. W. Fahnestock. t»f Philadelphia, an Honorary ^[ember of 

the Societv, who was present, generouslv otfercd to bear the expense 
of such pu}>licati''>n, slunild the Societv se<' fit t(^ order tiie same. * 

On motion of Rev. John ^fattocks. it was 

lifsohyrl, That the very L^encrous and liberal olfcr of Mr. Fahnestock he 
accepted, and that tlie thanks of the Society be tendered to liim for the 
same. And tlie Secretary is liereby instructed to prepare an account of 
the celebration, and secure its })uhlieaTion in pamphlet form. 

On motion, adjourned. 

J. F. WILLTA>[S, S.-c. 

* II is but <liio U} Mr. Fahn.'-Jtook to niato thut the celfl)riitiun ot tlio ,\rini\ or<nry wns first 
•'">KK<'-teit l>y him, ahiI aftor it \v.-i< rosnlveil on by tbe Surioty, its success was in a urctt nu-iisiiri; 
o« iap; t<j tho i.'il>ve^l he look in it, and his cfVot ts to r.'u<ler it inicrcstiuf? and cro.iitabln. 







We arc mot tlii? cvoniiiir to cc]ci)rate, in an a]'})ropriate mnnn^T, 
an ev'^nt of iio onlinary intoro^t, an ov(Mit whicli oc-urrcd a contvn v 
ac;o, a (late anterior even to tlic l»irt]i of our nation, and fully half a 
century prior to tlie settlement of tlii.-^ State by wliite men. TLi^ 
the first time, since the f»r[rnnization of our Society, tliat hnve 
l)een called on to celehrrite th-^ anniver>ary of any (n'ont connected 
^viili the early liistory of Minnr.-ota, and the spirit with which tli*- 
membi'^rs have enli.-ted in this ma Iter shows tliat it is rofrarded as an 
event of mor-^ tii;ui or-linary interest. 

It is peculiarly a'ppropriate thattliis Society should have comm'^m- 
orated that event. We are onranized to collect, and preserve, and 
disseminat--^ a knnwledtro of the early liistory of our State and the 
North West. Our Stare is so younsi, that it has Imt little iiistcry 
since its S'"ttlemcnt by whito men. One of the principal portions of 
our work, thcref )Vo, is to preserve the records of its oarly exph-rers. 
ITenri' i'in. F'-^rrot. Dulutli, St. Pierre and LeSueur, liave all been 
made familiar to th<' readers of our publications. But Jonatlian 
Carver, ^s'lio 'V.-serves a place as [irnminent as any, has never been so 
honorrMl, Tndr-ed. it is remarkable how little, generally, is knov.-n of 
Carvfr. Tiiis may be accounted for, however, from thf fact that 
copies of hi- work are verv rare. 

I have, ti'.cr' foie. in the pn]M:-r on the Life and Travels of Jonattian 
Carvor. v.-]ii.-ii at your request 1 ik-w read, given more full extract-: 
from Carver's works than miiiht otherwise have been necessarv, in 
order to reproduce the text of the oriLiijial, and also allow Carver to 
tell his own story, which he does in a clear, entertaining and vivid 
manner. 1 might mention here that Carver is one of the most en- 
tertaining of writers. His style is easy, plain and forcible. l\\< 
work })0ise-ses almost tlie Interest of a romance. Yet, although 
many of Carver's statements have been discredited, Carver wa^ no 
romancer. Every page l)ear.-> the impre.-^s of truth and candor. Al- 
ihougb, -otiiev.diat familiar with the contents of Ids worb- years ae^. 



yrt. wliei) 1 read it crii ically in ['rrjciriiiii t lus jiajicr, T was siiiLMi- 
larly c^tnick with tliu rt.'niark'al>k' projtlu'cii^-^ In) makes, ami his 
saL';acioii-s view-: in regard to the future of llu; wilderness lie tr.iversed. 
X'iewed in the li'jht of a ctuitury lat<T. iliere are some really r<:- 
inarkaiile {'assagf.-- in his work, -iain)«iiig liim as a. man of no ordi- 
nary mind and saL^aijity, I'liat he was an aeute ajul rh;>se observer, 
a!i industrious student of etliiiolouy, and a careful discriminatin«<: 
journalist, his eha])tcrs on tiic Indian races, and tlie natural history 
of tlie Nortli AYest, must })rovc to even the casual reader. But 1 
must jiass without fartlier pi'eface to tin: siil>ject of this j-aper. 

[In presenting the facts of the life and explorations of Mr. Carver, 
I am wholly indebted to J. Fletcher WilliamS; Ksfj., our intlefatigabh' 
and devoted Seeretary, for scdection, compilation and arrangemcur . 
The larger portion is found in an article prepart-d by him a year since, 
for the St. Paul Piuxkjjk.J 


Jonathiin C'ar\ er was n grandson of William Joseph Carver, of 
Wigan, in Lancasliire, England, who was a captain in the armv 
under King William, and served in the campaign against Ireland 
with such distinguished reputation, that the prince was jileased to 
reward him with tlie government of the Colony of Connt>cticut, in 
New England. Jonathan was born in 1732, at Stillwater (or Can- 
terbuiy,) Conn His father, who was a Justice of the Peace, died 
when ho was 15 years of age. It was designed to educate him for 
a physician, but his sjjirit of enterprise aiid adventure could not brook 
the (d(\-e study necessary to actjuire tlie ])rofessioTi, and he cdiose the 
army instead. He therefore purchased an cusigncy in a Connecticut 
regiment, nnt\ soon, by good conduct, rose to the command of a com- 
pany during the " French War." In the vear IToT, he was j»n^sent at 
the massacre of Fort AVilllani Henry, and narrowly esca|>ed with his 

carver's Or..JKCT IN MAKLN'd THE JOrRXEY. 

Having served through the war with credit and distinction, the 
p(Mic<' of \^•rsailIes, in 17(.>3, left Capt. Carver without occuj-ation. 
It was then that Carver conceived the projet-t of exploring the nt-w- 
ly acjuired possessions of (Ireat Pritaiu in the North Wt st. In the 
j»i ehice t(.> his book he says : 



No sooner ^vas tlic war with Franco concluilo'l, and peace csla'Dli.Nli- 
c(l by ll)c Treaty of Versailles in tlie year ITO.j, tliun 1 l»CL''an to consider 
(havin^r rt iuiered my country some service durinLpliC ^var) how I mi.Lrhl 
continue still serviceabU', and continue, a-^ nnu-h as lay in my power, to mai;e 
that vast acquisition of territory, gained by (jreat Britain, in Nt^rth 
America, advantaireous to it. It ai)])eared to me indispensably ncedlul, 
that (Jovernment should be acciuainted in the lirst j)lace with the true state 
of the dominions they were now become possessed of. To this purpose 
1 determined, as the next i)roof of my zeal, to explore the most unknown 
parts of them, and to spare no trouble or expense in acquirincr a knowled-^e. 
that })romised to be so useful to my countrymen. I knew that many ob- 
structions would arise to my scheme from the want of ,<:ood maps and 
charts. - * These dilliculties, liowever, were not suilicient to deter 
me from the undertakiiiL'-, and I made preparations for setting out. What 
I clilclly liad in view, aiier gaining a knowledge of the Planners, Customs. 
Languages, Soil, and I'roductions of the dilFeri;nt nations that inhabit the 
back of the 31ississi])pi, was to ascertain the breadth of that vast Conti- 
nent, which extends from the Atlantic to tlie Pacific Ocean, in the broadest 
part between 4:j and KJ degrees Northern Latitude. Had 1 been able to 
accomplish this, 1 intended to have proposed to Government to establish a 
post in some of those })arts about the Straits of Anuian, which having 
been first discovered by Sir Francis Drake, of course belong to the English. 
This, 1 am convinced, would greatly facilitate the discovery of a North 
West passage, or a communication between Hudson's Bay and the Pacific 
Ocean, an event so desirable, and which has been so often sought for, but 
without success. Besides this important end, a settlement on that terri- 
tory of America would ansv/er many good i)urposes, and repay every e.\- 
pensc the establishment of it might occasion. For it woukl not only dis- 
close new sources of trade, and i)romote many useful discoveries, but 
would open a passage for conveying intelligence to China, and Knglish 
vSettlemcnts in the Last Indies, with greater expedition than a tedious 
voyage hy the Cai)e of Good Hope, or the Straits of Magellan will allow 
of. That the completion of the scheme I have had the honor of first j)l;in- 
ning iind attempting will sonustimc or other be etlected, I make no doubt. 
AVhenever it is, and the execution of it carried on with projiriety, those 
who are so fortunate as to succeed will reap, exclusive of the national ad- 
vantages that must ensue, emoluments beyond their most sanguine exi)ec- 
tations, and whilst tlieir spirits are elated by their success, ])erhaps they 
may bestow somtj commendation and blessings on the person that \\y>l 
pointed out to them the way. 


Carver set out on liis journey from Boston, in June, 17GG. He 

})roceeded to Mackinaw, then the most distant British post, arriving 

in August. 

" Having here (ho snvs) made the m-cessary dispositions for jiur^u- 
ing mv travels, and obtained a credit from Mr. Rogers, the Goveru«.r. 
on some KngHsli and Canadian traders who were •roinL' l<> trade on th'' 
Mississip}>i, au'i received also from him a promise of a fresh supply d 
goods whon I reached the Fails of St. Anthonv, I left the Fun («n 
file 3d C)f Sept., in company witli these traders. Jt was agreed t}i::l 



tli(\v should ruriiisli iiic witli tJ'icli rruous as 1 7iii;j;lit want lor presents 
t(» llie Indian Cliicfs during my continuance witli tlium, agrct^aUlc to 
the Governor's order. ' 

Carver {nirsuid the usual routi; to Green liny, ascended tlic Vox 
Kivcr. made the Portage to tlie VT'isconsin and d<;sccnding tliat 
stream, entered tlie Mississijipi on (Jctober 1"). Tlie traders v/ho 
were with liini left, him at Prairie du Chien, opposite to which village 
at Yellow Kiver." ihey took up their quarters. Carver lierc 
" bouglit a canoe, aiid with two servants, one a French Canadian, 
and the other a Mohawk of Canada/' started up the Mississij)}'i 


vSome miles below Lake Pe])in, Carver writes, he found a remark- 
able fortiJication. wliich lie tliouglit to be very ancient. It was 
jdamied and constructed witli considerable engineering ability. On 
the first of Xoveinber he arrived at Lake Pe])iM. This lake lic de- 
scribes at some length, iji language florid and })oetical — yet his gen- 
eral description of that truly lovely sheet of water is correct and 
fjiithful. He obsi.^rved in one place, he writes — " the ruins of a French 
factory, where it is said Ca})t. St. Pierre resided, and carried on a 
verv trreat trade with the Naudow^essies before the reduction of 




We have now followed Carver on his journev until he reaches the 
Cave to which we paid a visit to-day. He thus speaks of it in his 
Avork : 

A})ont thirty miles below the Falls of Saint Anthony, at which 1 arrived 
the teiUh day after 1 left Lake Pepin, is a remarkable cave, of an amazing 
'lei)th. Tlic Indians term it V/akan Teebe, that is, tlie dwelling of the 
(ireat Spirit. The entiance into it is about ten feet wide, the height of it 
five teet. The arch within is neiir lifteen teet liigh, and a'nout thirty feet 
broiul. Tile bottom of it consists of line clear sand. About twenty feet 
from the entrance' begins a lake, the water of whieli is transparent, and 
extends tonn unscarchahle distance ; for the darkness of the cave prevents 
all allem|)ts to accjuire a knowledia' of it. 1 threw a small pebble towards 
the interior parts of it with my utmost strength : J could hear that it fell 
into the water, and notwithstanding it was of m) small a si/e, it caused an 
ast(»nisliing and horrible noise, reverberated through all those gloomy 
regions. 1 found in this cave many Indian hieroglyj)hies, which appeared 
Very jincient, for time Jiad m arly covered them witJi moss, so that it was 
W'itli diiliculty J could trace tJieju. 'J'hey were cut in a rude manner upon the 


Tin: cAiivKi; ckntknaiiy. 

inside ot'liie wall^, wliirii were roiMiM»-'( <1 of a stone so exti'eiiiely soft t)i;it 
it iniirlil he easily iii.'ncliatrd Avilli a kiiile; a stone every where to lie l«»im<l 
ne:ir llu; Mississi pjii. Tli<; cave is only aeeessible by ascendin^:^ a narrow 
steeji passaixe that lies near the brink ot the river. 

At n little distance IVoni this dreary eavern, is the buryinir place of sev 
eral bands of the andowessie' Indians : thonv.h these people have nolixed 
residence, livini;- in tents, und abiiiini^- but a. tew inon! hs on one sjKit, y( t 
they always brinu' the bones of their dead to this place; which they take 
the op)>ortiinity of doini:, when the chiefs meet to hold their eouncils, and 
to settle all public allairs lor the ensuing; summer. 

This was Carver's (irst visit, to the now celebrated Cave. After 
leavlni; it lie proeced<'d on to St. A nthoiiy's Falls, wliicli lu- minutely 
describes in Ids volume of travt 1.-?, accom{)aiiying it by a copperplate 
cngravini: from a drawing made by liim<elf on November 17, ITO'J. 
Ho afterwards look a short trip up thti ^Jississippi River as far as 
tlie " St. Fraiiois River/' beyond v/hich point, ho says, it had never 
beeii explored, and thus far only by Father lleiiiKipin and ]iim.-(df. 

HE PKOPOSES A SHIP ca:sal fkom the kjver to tue lakes. 

Carver here makes a somewhat remarkable sugL^estion in favor 
of a shi[» caiuil, conneetiui: tlio MissiL^sij)[d witli the Lakes. ]fe says : 

As this river is n(;t naviL:al>le' from tlie seti for vessels of any considerable 
burthen, much hiiilicr tiiau tlie forks of the Ohio — and even that is aecom- 
]dished Avith diHiculty — Ihosi; settlements that may be made on tiie interior 
branches of it, must be indisputabh" ^ecure from "the attacks of any mara- 
time i)Ower. But at the same time the settlers will have the advautai;e of 
being able to convey their produce to the seaports with great lacilily, the 
current of the river from its source to its entrance into the Clulf of 
Mexico, being extremely favorable for doing this in a small craft. This 
jniglit also, in time, be facilitated by canals (^r shorter cuts, and a commu- 
nication ()])ened by watei' with New York, Canada, ikc, by way of tlie 

Tliis project of a ship canal from tlie Mississi}»pi to Lake MicliigaJi 
lias by no means been abandoned, but is still agitatinl actively aiMi 
n)ay be yet aceomplisheiL Carver did not liowever, foresee tin- in- 
troduction of railroads, wdiicii had ]>roved a more valuable chanmd 
for commerce tlian Carver's canal and his projected overland routv 
to tlie indies. 


On the 2."')th of November Carver returned to his caTioe. ^vhich he 
had left at the* moutli of the River St. Pierre" [MiTinesota] and 

ascended that stream. About -10 miles from its month he says he 
arrived at a small branch that fell into it from the north," to which 

as it had no name that he could distinguisli it by, he calh;d "Carver"^ 

River," whicli name it bears to this day. 

Tiir: cAiiVKi: cjin-tknarv. 


On tho 7tli <•}" DiM rinl'cr Iio arrivc<] nt tii<^ most wosterly limit of 
Ills travols:, niKl a> iio couId pruccf.-d no farther tli.i* sca?(>n, ?[*ont liio 
a j^orlod of seven m(>llt]l^:, anionrr a l>a]i<l of Nautlowcssies 
(Mirnmpcd nonr what i? now New Ulm. lie says lie learned their 
Innguac^e so as to converse in it in! elHirihly, and was treated ijy them 
witli great liospitality. In tlie spring, he retiirne<l to the ca\ e. llis 
account of lhi= is as follows : 


I left the liabitations of these liospitahle Indians thclntter end of April, 
1707, but did not part from tliem for several days, as I was aceomjianied 
on my jonrncy liy ne:;r tliree hundred of them, amoniz wliom were many 
chiefs, to tlie mouth of tlie Iviver Saint Pierre. At this season lin'sc bands 
annually l^o to tlie Lrrcat cave before mentioned, to liold a irrand council 
M'ith all the other bands, wlicrein they settle their operations for tlie en- 
suintr year. At the same time tliey carry v.'ith tlicm their dead for inter- 
ment, liound up in l)uflnlo skins. 

It was on tills visit to the cave that Carver made the alleged 

Treaty witli the Indians, and received from tlu-m the celehrated deed 

of land. ITis account of it is as follows : 

When Ave arrived at the Great Cave, and the Indians had deposited the 
remaiiis of their deceased friends in tlie burial-place tliat stands adjacent 
to it, they lield tlieir p:reat council, into which [ was admitted and at tlie 
same time had tlie honor to be installed and adopted a cliief of their bands. 
On tliis occasion I ]na<le the following speccli which was delivered on the 
first day of 31 ay, 1*07 : 

CARVEK'S speech to the INDIANS 

*' My Brothers, Chiefs of the numerous and powerttil Naudowcssies ! 
I rejoice that throu2:h my long abode with you, I can now si)cak to you 
(thoueli after an imperfee't manner) in your owu tonuue, like one of your 
own eiiildicn. 1 rcioiee also that I have had an oj^iiortunity so frefiuently 
to inlonn you of the irlory and power of the Great King tliat reiirns over 
the En,Ldi<!i anil othrr n:t.rions; who is desrendeil from a very ancient race 
of sovereiun>, a^ old tlie earth and tiie waters ; who've feet stand upon 
two great islands, laruer than any you liavc ever seen, amidst the greatest 
waters in the world, wliosc liead readies to the sun, and whose arms en 
circle the whole earth ; the numl^er of whose warriors is erpial to tlie 
trees in t!ie valleys, the stalks of rice in vonder marshes, and tlie blades of 
grass on your 2reat plains, wlio has liuiulreds of canoes of liisown, of such 
amaziiiL^ l>ii:ness, that nil tlie waters in your country would not sullice for 
one of them to swim in, each of wliicli hav<' jrreat guns, not small like 
mine, M hieli you sec before you, but of sucli maLrnitude, that a hundred of 
ytvur stoutest vounu men M'ould witli dillieully be nlile io earry one. And 
tlu y are equally surpri/iiiLi in their operaiion a,L''aiiist the Jviiig"s enemies 
when enuaiied in liutth-: tlie terror they carry with them, your hmgua.iiC 
lacks woni- to "\j)!e<^. Vou may remember the otlu-r day wlu-n we were 
eneami»e<l at \Va lujiaw-menesoter, tlie black clouds, the wind, the lire, 



llie sUipeiKloii.s noi^c, tlic liorrihle cmcks, and tlic liiini)rnii; of Iho (';irth 
which then alarineil you. and uave you rcnsou to think your .iro<l> w on- 
aTi.i;ry with you ; not nnlikr thoso are tlio wai'likc iniidcuicnts ot the Eji:- 
Vi>\\ vvhi-n tli..y arc iiuhiiiiii Ijaillc.-. oi' their uioal ivini;". 

Several n\' Ihc chiels of your haM<l>i have often told me in tiuu-^ ]>:ist, 
wlien I dwelt ^vitli yo)i in your tents, that they much wi>^hed to he eounred 
aiuouL; the cliiMren and the nilies of the irrf-at ICitin-, my master. 

You may reruemher how often \ ou liave desin-d me, when I return :\L':\\n 
to my own country, to acquaint tiie great Kin.c; of your irood di<j>o>i; i,.n 
towards liiu! and ]ii< f^uhjecis, and that you wished for tradei sfrom the jCuit- 
lish to come atiioim you. 

Beinir now tdiout to take my leave of you, and t<-> retrirn to juy own 
country, a inmr, way toward the rising- sun, I n'j:aiu ask you to teil me 
whetlier you continue of the same mind wlien ] spoke to you in council 
last winter; und as there are now several ot your chiefs here wiio canje 
from the urcat plnins toward the setting of the .sun, whom I. have never 
spoken with in council hcforc, 1 ;isk you to let me know if you are willinu; 
to acknowledge your.^elves the children of my great master, the King ;)f 
the English. 

I charL'-e you not to give heed to bad reports, for there are wicked Mrd'^ 
Hying ali.aU among tiie nei^hhorinu' nations who ma\ wiii.spcr evil thinL's 
in your cars liLMinst the Eiiglish, contraiy to what I have told you: y.->M 
must not believe iliem, for I have told you thetrul li. 

As for t!ie Ciiiefs that :ire riliout t<^ go to jMichilimnekinac, I shall take 
care to Uiak.;^ lor them and ilu-ir suits a straight rtxad. >^n;ooth waters, and 
a clear, they may go there and smoke tin- pipe of peace, an*l rest 
secure on a beaver blanket under tlie shade of t lie great tree of peace. 
Farewell I" 

Whether any such grnndilo'^uent speech as tiie was reailv 
made by Carver on the occasion or not, has frequently been doul'ted. 
It is prol>aM]c. however, that he made them a short address, in such 
broken Dakota as he could command. 

To this s]'eech [he C(.>ntinnes] I received tlie following answer, 
from the nioiith of tlie princi}»al Chief 


Good brother! 1 am now about to speak to you with the mouths of 
tliese my l)rothers. chiefs of the eight bands of the powerful nation of tlie 
Naudowessie-s. We believe, and are well satistied in the truth of every- 
thing you have told us about your great nation, and the great fvinj; our 
greatest father : for whom we .>-i)re;id this beaver blankest, that his fatle-rly 
protection may ever rest easv nnd .-afe ajuongst us, his children ; your col- 
ors and yc»rir arms agree witii the aecounts you have giv n us ab'out your 
great niition. Wc desire that when you return, you will actjuaint the great 
king how much the Xaudow cssies wish to be counted amoufr his'good 
children. Yoe may believe us when we tell you that we will not oi>' n 
our ears to any one who may dare to speak evil of our Great Father the 
King of tiie Enirlish and other nations. 

We thank you for wiiat you have done for us in making ])cace bctwei n 
tlic Nauilowossies and the (•hippcnvas, and hone when you return :o u- 
again, that you will complete this good work; and cpiitc dispelling' the- 
clouds that intervene, open the l)lue -ky of peace, and cause tlie liloody 
hatchet to be deei> buried under the roots of the irreat tree of peace. 

T(fi: C.AKVT.ll CFA-iENTAKV. ' if 

We wish you to romoiubor to rrpvesoiit to our (Ircnt Fnthoi how much 
W(i desire that tnuh-rp in;iy ho sent l(» ahide auioiii;- u>;, with siir-h tliiuL'S u> 
we need, that the hearts of our 3 (^111^- men, our wivts, and ehilihen m;iy 
bo made triad. And may peace subsist between us, so h)nu- as tlie sun, tlie 
moon, the earth, and tlie walers shall endure. Farcvsell '.' 

THE puRpoini:!) dkkd. 

At this council was given the lamous deed of land to Car\'er, whicli 
reads as follows : 

To Jonathan Carver, a Chici" r.ndpr the most miglity and potent Geoi\L'-e 
the Third, Kin^: of the En^^lish, and other nations, the lame of w hose war- 
riors has reached our ears, ami lias been now lully told to us by our 
brother Joinitlni 11 , aforesaid., whom Ave rejoiee to see come among us, :nid 
bring us good news from his country. 

AVe, Chiefs of the .N'audowessies, who have licrelo set our seals, do by 
these pres(-'nts, lor ouiselves and heirs forever, in return for the many 
presents and other good services done by the said Jonathan to ourselves 
and allies, give, grant and convey to him, the said Jonathan, and to his 
heirs and assigns forever, the whoie of a ce»"tain tract or territory of land, 
bounded as follow s, vi/.: From the Falls of St. Anthony, running on tl-e 
East bank of the ^Jississippi, nearly Southeast, as far as the South end of 
Jjakc Pepin, where tlic Chippewa river joins the Mississippi, and from 
thence Eastward, tive days travel, accounting twenty English miles j)er 
day, and Irom thence North six days travel, at twenty J^nglish niiles ])er 
day, and from thcnec again to the Falls of St. Antlu^i^.}', on a direct straight 
line. AV^c do, for ourselves, heirs, and assigns, forever, give unto the said 
Jonathan, his heirs and assigns forever, all the said lands,"witli all the trees, 
rocks, and rivers therein, reservijig the sole liberty of huntiin.': and fishinL!- 
on land not planted or improved by the said "Jonathan, his heirs and 
assigns, to v/hicii we have attixed our respective seals. 
At tlie Great Cave, 

May 1st, oiie thousand seven hundred and sixty-seven. 

IIAW-NO-PAW.CrAT-AN,'his ^ mark. 

(pietui-e of a Eeaver.) 
0T0H-T01>i GOOiM-LISlT-EAW, liis x niark. 

(picture of a snake.) 

It is a somewhat singular fact that Carver nowhere mentions this 
deed in his writings. Why its existence was suppressed by him, can 
only 1)0 conjectured. It seems not to have been made public uiilil 
after his death. John Coaklcy Lettsoni, who wrote the biograpliy 
of Carver f( r th(? third edition of his travels, says he had the original 
deed in his possession. Wo will farther trace tin; history of this 
<loed, after C( ncluding our account of Carver. 

Whilst he tarried at the mouth of the River St. Pierre [he says | 
ho endeavored to learn whether the goods which the governor at 
i\tichilliinaciiiac had ju'omised to forward him, hnd nrrived. Learn- 




ing they h;id not, 'ho was obliged to abandon all hopes of proceeding 
fitrtlier westward, and returned to Prairie du Chien. 

Here procuring a small >upply of goods, he procoe<led to Lake 
Superior, and spent some time in exploring that region, returiiing to 
Boston by way ot" Sault St. Marie, Detroit, and Niagara Falls. He 
arrived "in Boston in Octol^er, 1708, "having been absent from it oh 
this expedition two years and iive months, and during that time 
travelled near 7000 nnles." 

carver's subsequent history. 

Carver soon after sailed for England. Of his purposes and move- 
ments there, we will let him be his own historian : 

On my arrival in England, I presented a petition to liis Maje>;ty in coun- 
cil prayin^u; for a reimbursement of those sums I had expenac<l in tlie service 
of tlie Government. This was referred to the Lords C<Mnmissi(mer.s of 
Trade and Plantations, riieir Lordships, from t]ie tenor of it, tliouirht 
the iutelligence 1 could uive otso much importance to tlic nation that tiiey 
ordered me to appeiir heibie the Loard. This message I obeyed, and un- 
derwent a long examination, mucli, 1 lujlicve, to the satistactio]i of every 
Lord present. ^Vhcu it was lini=;lic(l, 1 rc(iuested to knov\- wliat I sJioultl 
do witli my papers. W'itlioui hesitation, tlie lirst Lord replied, that I might 
publish them whenever I pleased. 

In consequence ol" this permission, J disposed of them to a bookseller ; 
but vrhen tliey were nearly ready for the press, an order was issued from 
tiie council board, requirim;; me to deliver, without delay, into tlie IManta- 
tion Olhce, all my Oiarts and Journals, with every pai)er relative to the 
di.sco\ cries I liad made, in order to obey the command, I was obliged to 
repurchase them from the l)ooksellcr, at a very great ex])ense, and deliver 
tliem U}). Tlii- fresli dislnirsement 1 endeavored to get annexed to the 
account I had already <lelivered in, but the n;quest was denied me, not- 
withstanding 1 liad only acted in tlie disposal of my ])apers, contbrmably 
to tlie permission I liad r-'ceived from the I'oard of Trade. This loss, 
wliich amounted to a very consiilerable sum, 1 was obli;;ed to bear, and to 
rest satished with an iiidemnilieation tor my other expenses. 

"Having expende,] nil his private fortune in his explorations and 

other expenses, Cirver was compelled to make a ne\s' abstract of 

his Journals (whieli fortunately he had preserved) and })ublish them. 

in order to reimbur-e iiimsedf. 1 1 is hardly possible tliat he realised 

much money t'rom his book, ;is we he;,r of him a few months after 

this, in very indigiMit circumstances. His health also «leclined. In 

1779, he secured a. position as ch-rk in a lottery olllce, from the gains 

of which he eke.] out a scanty subsisti-nco for a few m(»ntlis. l>i>- 

" Carver ;<lso ptiLli-lid!, A Trc-;Ui,M' on the Culf urn of tho Tobiuco t'lant. Lon. 1779, ^'•o. 
T!ie Ntrvv Uni\ Travellor, Lon. 177'). lulio. Tliis is not his own prodnt lion, l>tit Ik; i'^ > 
tt> liHi.0 Km Uiuuf to it. [Allibont's Dit t. of Autlior.s.) 



ease soon ensued, liowcvcr, and lie actually died of wan r*' in rA)n<lun, 
January 31, ITSO. aL''cd 48 years. 

C'ar\ iM', as wo before mentioned does not sj>e;ik. in liis work <>f tlie 
deed said to have l)ecn !j'iven ^fay 1, 17<>7. It was not until aftrr 
liis deatli that it was hiouLiht to liirlit. CarvtM- had married durini: 
ids sojourn in Kn^rland (although he had a wife and live daughters in 
Connceticut at the time) ami by this second wife had one daughter, 
nann.'d Martha. She was raised by Sir Richard and I^ady Pejirson. 
When she grew ujt, she eloped with, and married a sailor, who>e 
name seems to Ix' now nnlv'nown, A inercantih' firm in London, 
tliinking that money could be made by securing the title to the al- 
leged grant, s(>oured from the penniless couple, a few days after their 
marriage, a eonveyanee of the grant to ihem, for the consideration 
of one tenth the profits. The merchants dispatched an agent named 
Chirk to go to the Dakotas, and obtain a new deed, but on the way 
Clark Avas murdered in Xew York, and the s])eculation for tlie time 
lidl through. 

Jn the year 1794, tlie heirs of Carver's American wife, in consid- 
eration of -C.50,000, conveyed their interest in the Carver Grant, to 
Edward Houghton, of Vermont. ]n the ycn.v 1800, liev. Samuel 
Pet(,'rs.f who had been a Tory during the Revolutionary war, alleged, 
in a j'etition to Congress, tliat he had also purchased of tlie heirs of 
Carver, their right to tlic grant. 

in 1S21, (Jen. Leavenworth. ]iursnant to a rei[uest of the Com* 
missioner (4^ the L;nid Ollice, eiKjuired of the Dnkotas in rcdation to 
tlic grant, and reported that the land alh.'ged to l;e granted lies on 
the Last side of the Mississ![)[)i.'' Tlie Indians do not recognise <»r 
acknowledge the grant to be valid ami tiiey, among others, assign 
\\\<i following reasons : 

1. The Sioux of tlie Plains never owned a foot of land on tin- 
Last sid(,- of thi> Mis-^i^sipju. * * 

2. The Indians say tln-y have no knowledge of any such Chiefs, 
as those who signed the grant. They say if Capt. (Carver did <'ver 
obtain a di>ed or gr;!nt, it was signed bv some foolish voung men 

* It was owint; to l)i . I.t tt^om'.s nciouiit of lii.v siill. riiti,'s a!iil ill n-quiied lulior^ lor tl.c tii^'li^li 
novcriimfiit. tlia! ihv i ary fiiijii vs a^ ^'sta!>li^hc^l . [.vnilmiie's Diol- of Authors.] 
■i Sv e "C"llccth'!i- of lilt Miiuii >..[.! lli>ii)i-iral Society lor 1!SC4,'- ji. 2S, 



who were not C'hiofs, ;iik1 wlio woro not auLliori^cil to niako a grant. 
Ariio'in the Sior.x of tlif luvcr tlicre arc no such names. * 

3. They say the ln:lians never rt-ceivcfl anytliiuLr for tin- hind, 
and they ]i:iv(; n«» intnitioii to part with it witliotit a consiiU-ration. 

4. 'JMiev liave, and ever have had, thr |«os30Ssion of tlic h'\nd anrl 
intend to kerj. it. * ^t: ^ 

On January 23, 1S23, tlie Coiuniittee on I'ublie Land.s, re{)orl<.d 
to the Senate on th(? chiini of Carver's l\eirs, at some length. Tliuy 
argue tliat tiie purported grant lias no l)inding efi'ect on the United 
States, and give very sntisfactory and conclusive reasons therefor, at 
too great length, liowevcr, to incdudr in tJii.? paper. Tiie prayer of 
the petitioners was therefore not granted. 

It is certain that ('arver's A merican heirs always supposed, (and 
are said to this day to assert) that tliey had a good title to the grant 
in question. Some of them liave visited Saint Paul in tlieir inves- 
tigations of the suhject. Two of these visits are nn-ntioned in liislory. 

Maj. Stephen IT. Long, U. S. A., in his journal of " A Voyage 
in a Six oared Skilf to the Falls of St. Anthony, in 1817,'' [published 
by the ^linnesota Historical Society in 18G0,] says: 

There sailed also in company with us, tw^o gentlemen from New York, 
by tlie name of King and Gun, who arc grandsons of Capt. .J. Carver.'the 
celebrated traveler. They were on their way northward, on a visit to the 
Sauteurs, lor tlie purpose of establishing their claims to a tract ot land 
granted by tliose Indians to their grandfather. 

After his return to rrairie du Chien, Long writf.'s : 
Last evening Messrs. Gun and King arrived at the Prairie from the Falls 
of St. Anthony. Wlietlier tliev accomplislied tlie object of their ti ip, vi/..: 
to establish their claim to the tract of country ceded by the Indians to 
their L';raudfather Carver, 1 had no time to en(|uire, but ])resume theie is 
no grouuil for supposing they did, as they ])efore told me they could find 
but one Indian who had any knowledge of the transaction, or was in tlie 
least disposed to recognise the grant. That they do not consider tlie ces- 
sion obligator}' u[)on them is very evident, from their having ceded to the 
United States through the ne.urotiations of Pike, two parcels of the same 
tract sj)ecifiea in the grant in favor of Carver. 

]^[iss Harriet E. Bisho[>, too, in her work Floral Home ; or h'irst 
Years of ^linnesota/' s[)Caks thus of the visit of anotlier of Capt. 
Carver's heirs : 

Tn r^-lS, Dr. Hart well Carver visiited tlie region which had been the 
theatre of his grundtather's adventures. lie came as claimant of tln^ soil — 

* CnrvtT only once in tJu- l)<nly i>f his wnU niemion? tho chiefs wli<>>o siictiafiro "family 
co;it *)f jirius " ;iro .ipiicnilvil to tlm iL.-o'l. On pa^e oSO, .speaking of Indian iinnicncljiture lio .>ays : 

Tims, tliir /^reat. warrior of liio NaU'l"Wcssios was iiaincJ Otfahtonx'ounilij.lioali, liiAt is flu; 
{Jrcat Tatlicr ..f ;''<t;i ; uti.ili liciiiij in KiikIi.-Ii faiiuT, tt(i|./..c.m ijrcai. ami n.-ncan a hiiako .\n- 
otlKT ciiiel was oalloii Hoiialipawj.i! in, wliicli moans, .•i>\vift riUituT over th.j inn.intains. 

Tin: rAKVKi: centknaky. 


liis ('lai)n.s licini: prcdicati d on a title to one liuiulii'd miles square, cnlid 
to the forijiiT !)>• tlie two licad ehiels of tliii Dakota nation. Tliiij convey- 
ance of land wa> claimed to have lieen ratilit-d by George 111. 

Miss Bidiiop states that Pr. Carver was sanguine ol" oinainini: a 
rt'co^^nilion \>y ConLiress of tlio rights of tlie lieirs to compen.-:ation 
for the land said to have hoi n ceded to th'.ir ancestor. 

N'umeroiis deeds for jiortions of the land were made at various 
times by Carver's lioirs or tlieir assignees, hi 18 lO, and a few years 
suhse(iuent, wlio]i real estate agents throve in the infant city of St. 
Paid, very many of tlicse deeds were received by land dealers here, 
to " locate." wSeveral of them are among the ^LSS. in the Library 
of tliis Society. 


After tlie visit of Carver, the cave remanied unentered by the 
white man for nearly half a century- Pike tried to find it in ISOG. 
lie says : 

^^ATrni) AY, lOrir Api:il. Embarked early : Although my interj)reter 
had been iVeiiiieiilly up the l iver, he could not tell me where the cave, 
si)oken of l.»y Carver, could l)e found : we carefully sought for it, but in 

Maj. I^ong, in 1817, was more successful, lie says : 
Wi::dnesday, July 16. Two miles above the village [Little Crow's] on 
the same side of the river, is Carver's Cave. Jfowever interesting it may 
have been, it does not possess tluit character in a very high degree at pres- 
ent. We descended it with liLihted candles to its lowest extremity. The 
entrance is very low, and about 8 feet l)n)ad, so that a man in order to 
enter it must be completely prostrate. The aii-le of descent w ithin the 
cave is about '2y\ The llooring is an inclined plane of ((uick-sand, formed 
of the rock in w liicli the cavern is formed. Tlie disiance from its entrance 
to its inner extremity is 24 paces, the width in the broadest ptirt al)Out 
and its iiTcatest height about 7 feet. In shape it resemblesa baker's oven. 
Tlie cavern was once probably much more extensive. 3Iy interpreter in 
formed me that, since his remembrance, the entrance was not less than 10 
l(;et high, and its length far greater than at ju'esent. 

Maj. t!i(.-n visitci] Fountain Cave, whicli is thouglit by somo 
to he fhi; r.Ml Carver Cave. He thus refutes this theory : 

This cavc-rn, as I was intoi ined by my iiiterj)reter, has been discovered 
but a few yrars: that tlie Indians livini;- in its neighborhood knew notiiinu' 
of it till w ithin six years j)ast. That it is not the same as that described 
by Carver is cvidtMit, not only from this circumstance, but also from the 
<'ircumstanee that insteatl of a stagnant pool, and only one accessible room 
of a Very diUVient form, this cavern has a lirook running throiiuh it, and 
at least four rooms in succession, one after the other. Carver's Cave i.-> 
fast tillin.: Uj) with sand, so that no wat(,>r is now to be found in it. w here- 
as Ihi-;, from the very nature of tlie place, must be enl:lrgin.L^ as the foun- 
tain will carry alonu- with its current all the sand that 'falls into it from 
the ;^ide^< ;in I ro')! of 'he r;iv'rn. 



•.FeatluM-.-ton)uiui;]i, tlio Geoli>, iie.\l visits it in 1S3.5. lit- savs : 

Sei'TKMI'.kii 11. "About 3 p. m. canu; with a hliiU'of incol»rn.nt 
sand-stoiK- about 1!S0 I'oct liiLrh, like that on the Wisconsin. Tlic In<li;ins 
say that tlicrc was t'ormcily a hirgc cave hcnj, but that the rock fell in ami 
coverc<l it up. I lanilcd and endeavored to trace some vestiire of the cave, 
but in vain, a talus of hundreds of tons of fallen rock covering the entire 

Nicollet Ji.lso visited the ca\ e in iS.'w. In his re])0rt * to Con;;res;, 
he says : 

The second [cave] four miles below the former is that described by 
Carver, Its entrance has been, for more than thirty years, closed by the 
disintegrated debris of tlie lime ttojie capping the sand-stone in which it 
is located. On the -Jd of July, ISoT, with the assistance of ^[essrs. Camp- 
bell and Quinn, the former an interpreter for tiie Siou\, the latter for the 
Chi{)pewas, 1 set about clearing this entrance, which, by the bye was 
no easy work, for on the 0th we were about abandoning the Job, Avhen, 
unexpectedly, v/e found that ^ve had made an opening into it ; and although 
we had not entirely disencumbered it of its rubl)i^h, I saw enough to >»atisly 
me of the accui acy of Carver's description. 'I'he lake mentioned by him 
is there ; but 1 could s(?e only a scLrment of tlie cave, a i)ortion of the roof 
beiJig too near the surface of the water to enable me to i)rf)cecd any farther. 
A Chijtpew a wan lor nuule a long harangue on the occasion ; "throwing 
his knife into the lake, as an olh ring to Wnbin-Tibi^ the S])irit of the 
grottoes. * * On the high grounds above the cave there were some 
Indian mounds, to which the Indians belonging to the tribe of 3rdev.a- 
kantons formerly transported the bones of the deceased members of their 

Carvor a|>pears to have been sanguine that tlie region which In.' 
traversed, would ultimately ijeeome populous and wealtliy. Tliis 
belief ajtpears in nuniei-ous passages. His prophi;sy concerning an 
overland route of trade and commercial travel has already been 
«[Uotcd. That l-arver cerlaiidy ])elieved that this was to be tlie 
future cours(^ of tradi; is evident from the fact that after liis return 
to England he interested l^icliard AVhitworth, a member of Tarlia- 
ment, in the nnitter, and they found a plan to (>stablisli a trailing 
post neai- t])e head waters of the ^Missouri aiid Oregon. The Jievo- 
lutionary war i)reventod any ac< om[)lishnient of their scheme. Car- 
ver nevertlieless assures his readers of tlie great future of the North 
AVest. lie says: 

To what power or authority this )iew world will become dependant, alter 
it has arisen from its ])resent uncultivated state, time alone can dis(-over. 
Hut as the seat of Empire from time immemorial has been gradually pro- 
gressive towards the west, there is no doubt luit that at some future period, 

iiibjhiii Lii('jih)tn?, ir.'Il inu r<jt: fmiu lluxv vr/A/t/v^f'^vi.-f, an<l xtiftt hf fxiUnxx <tnd 
.■^oli'inn tcn/pkfi, witJu ijihhd .^^jiircs rcticliiinj tin' xkii snppliut tin'. J tatiaa ItuU^ 
trhouc iJiJ.u (.licoriitioiis arc l/i<j bi'/'bi'.roa.'n irvjihk.s of tln^ir ua lujuitilial ciit iiiiL!<. 

* Keport iiiteniK il to illustnito a man <>f tlic ll.vilrt»i?rai)hiciil 15asm of the Vl>por Mississippi 
Kiver, uja'le by 1. N. Nii-oll.-f, .r.ui. 11, H!.">. 


A century hh> ]iri?scd ?inc'' Cnrvr's visit licro, and liis ardoni an- 
tici]iati(>ns aro rcnliit-d. From tlio v/ildrinoss liavo indeed emerged 
"mii^lity kiniidoms," — vigorous, rich, growing stai-js of ilio Xortli 
\\'(^^t, eaeh ^rell tf>rrned an *• nnpcrium in im2'>crin'' miglily already in 
sizo nnd rich in unnevtdoiird rr-soiirces. In aii liundrod cilii^s tlie 
" stately palace- and "solemn teniple> witli "gilded spires'" are 
seen, AS'liile the Indian race, whose hut> stood on their ?ite. are now 
almost " sup]»lantcir' hy another race. 

This progress from the wilderness to the rich and populous com- 
monwealth — the ijicidents of the dovolopment and the history of the 
;ictious in tlie drnma, it is our ta.-k to record ; "to gather from still 
living witnesses and preserve for the future annalist, the important 
records of the teeming and romantic past to let nothing escajie 
that may show to tuture generations the form and pressure of orr 
own timos. 

To this duty lot u= address ourselves with renewc-d dilig-'uce, nnd 
while "toiling in tlie mines of liistory, gathering its puro ore," not 
forget to do justice to the memory of the early explorers of this 
region, so prominent among whom was the sulgect of this cenl^-nary 
cele])ra tion, .I'/nnihun Cnrrrr.